State adopts systematic screening, early treatment focus to curb spread of tuberculosis

Dr Sim delivering his winding-up speech in the DUN as seen in this photo of the DUN in-house broadcast feed.

By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, May 8: The state Health Department is taking steps to detect as many tuberculosis cases as possible through systematic screening and early treatment amidst the rise in cases by 3.9 per cent this year.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said as of April 6, a total of 823 tuberculosis cases was reported compared to 792 cases in 2018.

Systematic screening and starting early treatment will be prioritised in order to halt and control the spread of the disease, he explained.

“The department had also formulated a plan of action for Tuberculosis Control Programme for 2019-2021 in order to detect more cases that are undetected at various levels of services including community involvement,” he said when delivering his ministerial winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here yesterday.

Touching on dengue, Dr Sim said Sarawak had reported 477 cases this year as in April 6. This is a 215.9 per cent increase when compared to 151 cases recorded over the same period last year.

“The Sarawak Health Department is committed to working hand-in-hand with other non-health agencies in Sarawak to further prevent and reduce dengue cases in the state,” he continued.

On speciality services to minor and district hospitals across the state, Dr Sim said Sri Aman Hospital now has four speciality services with the recently added Obstetric & Gynecology (O&G). Serian Hospital has two new specialities, namely General Medicine and Paediatric.

A Pediatrician and an O&G specialist have been posted to Limbang Hospital since end of last year.

He added that the Health Department was planning to expand more speciality services to minor specialist hospitals this year, which includes posting a physician and surgeon to Limbang Hospital, an O&G specialist to Serian Hospital, a psychiatrist to Sarikei Hospital and an anaesthesiologist to Kapit Hospital.