Taiwan CDC collaborates with New Southbound countries in sharing TB control experiences and strengthening regional capacity

To prevent cross-border transmission of tuberculosis and to share Taiwan's experiences in tuberculosis control and prevention, Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) hosted the "2019 Tuberculosis Control and Prevention Workshop under New Southbound Policy".

Participants joining the workshop include 14 professionals from Ha Long City and Cam Pha City recommended by the Health Department of Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam. These professionals are from different fields, including public health, clinical medicine and laboratory examination. A range of site visit programs have been arranged for the workshop. Participants will visit Taipei Municipal Wanfang Hospital to learn about Taiwan Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis Consortium (TMTC). Afterward, participants will visit Taiwan CDC Regional Centers, the Center for Research, Diagnostics and Vaccine Development, and the Chest Hospital of the Ministry of Health and Welfare in groups. It is hoped that through the visit programs and sharing of experiences, participants will gain an insight into the integration of resources among the public sector, private sector and the medical community in Taiwan.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 10 million people worldwide suffered from tuberculosis (TB) in 2017. About 60% of the TB cases were from southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions, and Vietnam is on the WHO list of high burden countries with TB and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). To fight tuberculosis, over the years, Taiwan has been implementing the Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) program, latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) treatment program for high-risk groups, MDR-TB medical care, active TB cases finding program in mountainous areas, pilot programs of LTBI evaluation and treatment for TB high-risk population and contacts of MDR-TB cases. The incidence of new TB cases in Taiwan has been declining year by year. The estimated number of new TB cases has dropped to 9,180 persons and the incidence rate has dropped from 73 cases per 100,000 population in 2005 to 39 cases per 100,000 population in 2018.

There are frequent exchanges of goods and people between Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries. To train TB control and prevention professionals in Southeast Asia and strengthen TB control and prevention practices in this region, Taiwan CDC hosted this workshop and has visited Vietnam for field training in September 2018 and March 2019. It is hoped that through collaboration and exchange, partners in this region can work together to strengthen the capacity of TB prevention and control, reduce risks posed by TB, and achieve the global goal of ending TB by 2035.