A total of 26 health officials and professionals from Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam are participating in the workshop. Their areas of expertise vary, including public health, clinical medicine, and laboratory diagnosis. Besides attending the workshop sessions, they will also be visiting the local face mask factory and the tuberculosis drug manufacturer. In addition, workshop participants will be exchanging practices with local public health professionals from Taiwan CDC Regional Centers, New Taipei City Government’s Department of Health, Kaohsiung City Government’s Department of Health and one of the many hospitals in Taiwan implementing the multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) healthcare system, Wan Fang Hospital, to provide them with a comprehensive overview of Taiwan’s tuberculosis prevention and control system, the implementation of tuberculosis prevention and control efforts, and the integration of resources pooled from the central government, the local governments, the healthcare sector and the private sector.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 10 million people worldwide fell ill with tuberculosis in 2016. Among them, 64% of the cases occurred in New Southbound countries in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific Region. Vietnam is a country with a high burden of tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Taiwan has been actively implementing the Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) program, the latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) treatment program, the DOTS-plus program for MDR-TB patients, for years. Through the joint efforts of our public health workers and healthcare system, our TB incidence rate has decreased to below 10,000 people in 2017 (9,759). Taiwan’s ever-increasing exchanges with New Southbound countries will only continue to affect the development of the local tuberculosis epidemic.
To implement New Southbound Policy and reinforce people-to-people exchanges, besides hosting this workshop for health officials and professionals from Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam, Taiwan CDC has also planned to implement projects on the ground to deepen the prevention and control of tuberculosis in Quang Ninh Province and develop sustainable collaboration efforts with Vietnam, which will help reinforce the regional capacity to tackle tuberculosis, lower the cross-border tuberculosis threat, and achieve the global goal of End TB 2035.