WHO: 38 per cent of TB cases undetected

Members of the National TB Unit during the launch of the "Breathe Well" mobile clinic service in Savusavu last year. Picture: FT FILE

Members of the National TB Unit during the launch of the "Breathe Well" mobile clinic service in Savusavu last year. Picture: FT FILE

FIJI is only detecting 62 per cent of its tuberculosis cases and 38 per cent remains undetected, says the World Health Organization.

Recent estimates by the WHO states that the “missing” 38 per cent of people who have TB will continue to spread the disease in their various communities and may not get access to available lifesaving interventions.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services said last year it recorded 358 notified cases of TB. “Fiji is a medium burden tuberculosis.

“Each year, communities gather to discuss ways to fight against TB,” the ministry said.

“The Ministry of Health, with its partners Red Cross, Fiji Nursing Association, Fiji National University, National TB Program supported by Global Fund, is implementing unit on activities for TB awareness.”

The ministry said TB was spread from person to person through the air. “When people with lung TB cough, sneeze, or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected,” the ministry said.

World TB Prevention Day is celebrated on March 24 and this year’s theme is “Wanted: Leaders for a TB Free World”.