Tuberculosis Control in Taiwan
1986 Vol.2 NO.6
Tuberculosis (TB) control in Taiwan began in the 1950’s with the introduction of BCG vaccine for school children. In 1967, the Taiwan Provincial TB Control Bureau was formed. During the period 1947-1984, the TB mortality rate declined from 294.4 to 11.2 deaths per 100,000 population (Figure 1), and TB dropped from the third to the tenth leading cause of mortality. In addition to declining trends in mortality, island-wide population-based surveys conducted every five years since 1957 have shown a similar decline in the prevalence of TB (Figure 2). These surveys have also provided valuable information about the age, sex, and geographic distribution of TB cases. The prevalence of TB was highest in older age groups in each of the six surveys conducted to date, and the prevalence has declined steadily in all age groups ( Table 1). The sex- specific prevalence rate is higher among males, and in the most recent survey (1982) the male to female ratio of sputum-positive cases was approximately 4: 1. Compared to both large and small cities, thee surveys have shown that towns and villages have the highest prevalence of sputum-positive TB, and that geographically, the prevalence of sputum-positive cases is highest in the east and southwest parts of the island.