MOH News
Dr. Abu Al-Jadail: 22 Million Cases of Tuberculosis Were Treated through the “DOTS” Strategy
31 March 2014
The Specialist of Respiratory Diseases Dr. Naila Abu al-Jadail said at least 22 million cases of tuberculosis were treated within the past few years through applying a strategy dubbed “DOTS” and signing partnerships with international bodies to limit the spread of this disease. She added that this strategy depends on the early detection and diagnosis of patients; that is to be added to placing the affected person under the direct supervision for a period of not less than six months to identify whether he regularly takes the anti-tuberculosis medicines or not. “If properly applied, this strategy can heal 100% of affected people,” Dr. Abu al-Jadail said.
 
Moreover, Dr. Abu al-Jadail noted that the Middle East countries, over the past ten years, have detected some 4.2 million people with tuberculosis (3 million of whom were successfully treated). “The mortality rates due to the disease have been down as well for 50% compared to 1997,” Dr. Abu al-Jadail said, attributing this achievement to the launching of several anti-tuberculosis national programs and strategic work plans.
 
Dr. Abu al-Jadail pointed out that tuberculosis is more common among men than women worldwide. However, it is still one of the most deadly diseases among women, affecting 2.9 million females in the world. Also, tuberculosis is a main cause of deaths among women, aged between 15 and 44 years, with a total toll of 410,000 cases annually (160,000 of them suffer from AIDS).
 
Furthermore, Dr. Abu al-Jadail highlighted that most affected cases are located in East Asia (29%), then Africa (27%), and the Pacific Rim (19%). Twenty-two countries are highly affected by the disease, including countries located in East Asia and Africa. “According to statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO), there are an estimated 8.6 million cases of TB; 1.1 million of them suffer from AIDS,” said Dr. Abu al-Jadail.
 
As part of the health awareness activities and programs carried out by the Ministry of Health (MOH) all around the year, coinciding with the World Tuberculosis Day, the National Center for Media, Health Awareness hosted the Specialist of Respiratory Diseases Dr. Naila Abu al-Jadail via the Center’s toll free number: 8002494444, and the MOH account on Twitter: @SAUDIMOH.
 
“The affected cases should be given higher attention throughout the period set by the treating physician, who ought to offer the Neonatal Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine to the infants immediately following the delivery and examine the contacts, given that all tuberculosis-related services are tendered for free,” said Dr. Naila during the interview.
 
Hailing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's participation in all events related to the World Tuberculosis Days, Dr. Naila said the country has exerted every effort to keep up with the tremendous progress achieved in the technical and modern communication domains. “This comes as part of the Saudi Ministry of Health's endeavors to spread health awareness among the Saudi citizens, through its National Center for Media, Health Awareness which holds interviews on the thirty world health days celebrated throughout the year.
 
Out of its responsibility for raising health awareness among patients, the MOH hosts a number of experts and specialists via the previously-mentioned toll-free number to receive any inquiries or questions concerning the various health disorders, including TB, and to disseminate scientific awareness materials in the media outlets.  It also issues leaflets, posters and guidelines; that is to be adding to hosting scientific meetings and symposiums in a bid to brief the health sector's staffers on the latest developments in the diagnosis, treatment and vaccines services. This comes within the framework of the MOH's commitment to providing health care services for TB patients without any charge.
 
 
 
 
 



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