(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) The incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in the country has come down by 13.3 per cent in 2013 compared to 2012, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).
In 2013, the number of notified TB cases was 325, while it was 375 in 2012. A senior official in the ministry said that the decrease in numbers is remarkable.
According to him, during the last year, the percentage of new pulmonary smear positive cases was 57.2 per cent (186) and smear negative cases was 11.7 per cent (38), while cases of extra-pulmonary TB constituted 31.1 per cent (101).
''The governorate of Muscat recorded the highest percentage of new TB cases,'' he said. Oman is trying to bring down the number of cases to one out of every 100,000 by 2015. ''Currently, it is 3.59 out of every 100,000,'' he said.
Talking about distribution of TB among males and females, the official said, ''Sputum positive cases are relatively low among females (47.8 per cent) when compared to men (52.2 per cent). The incidence of extra-pulmonary TB is 55.7 per cent in males and 44.3 per cent in females.''
The official also said that last year all TB cases were tested for HIV. ''Five tested positive,'' he said. He pointed out that last year, a total of 258 cases had undergone Drug Sensitivity Test (DST).
''Among these, two were reported to be Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR-TB).'' Find..treat..cure tuberculosis patients' is the call of this year's World TB Day, observed on March 24. Under the slogan Each patient counts', WHO in the Eastern Mediterranean Region has called for legislation on TB notification to be updated so that all cases of the disease can be found and treated. ''Countries in the region have built strong national TB programmes.
The WHO's Stop TB Strategy has been successfully implemented, and the region has maintained a high treatment success rate among cases around 88 per cent for the past five years. ''In the past ten years, countries have detected more than 4.2mn TB cases, and successfully treated more than 3mn,'' said Dr Ala Alwan, WHO regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean.
''More actions need to be discussed at the country level to reach a national consensus in updating public health law,'' he said.
In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, detection rate of the disease is only 63 per cent, as per the Global TB Report 2013.
''This means that out of the 670,000 new TB cases estimated to have occurred in 2012, around 250,000 cases were missed.
Almost two thirds of TB cases among women in the region in 2012 were not detected, meaning women's access to diagnosis is lesser,'' he said. Incidence of the disease among Omanis reduced from 234 in 2012 to 182 in 2013 C which corresponds to a drop of 28.6 per cent.
The number of sputum positive cases decreased by 34.6 per cent. There were 105 sputum positive cases in 2012 and 78 cases in 2013.
Among non-nationals, incidence of TB increased by 1.4 per cent to 143 cases in 2013, up from 141 cases in 2012. Sputum positive cases increased to 108 from 100 the previous year.
The percentage of pulmonary smear positive cases stood at 75.5 percent (108), while percentage of smear negative cases was 11.2 per cent (16), and extra-pulmonary TB cases was 13.3 per cent (19). ''Among nationals, incidence of sputum positive cases is 3.59 out of every 100,000 and all forms of TB is 8.38 out of every 100,000. Among expatriates, the incidence of sputum positive cases and all forms of TB cases out of every 100,000 is 6.4 and 8.5, respe