Published on: Sunday, January 20, 2013
Papar: Foreign immigrants have been blamed for the increasing number of Tuberculosis (TB) cases in the country last year - 4,426 cases against 3,794 cases previously.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin (pic) said 30 per cent of the total were reported in Sabah, the majority of which involved Filipinos, representing 19 per cent of the total patients.
She said last year Kota Kinabalu recorded the highest number of TB cases with 689 followed by Sandakan (541), Tawau (494), Semporna (314), Keningau (303), Lahad Datu (294), Papar (199) and Tuaran (188).
Lahad Datu recorded the highest number of TB cases involving foreigners representing 62 per cent of the overall total in Sabah, followed by Kunak (61pc), Kinabatangan (50pc), Semporna (46pc) and Sandakan (45pc).
Rosnah said the number of death because of TB also increased to 239 cases last year, an increase by 51 people (27pc) if compared to 188 cases in the same period in 2011. Majority involved foreigners representing 40 per cent of the total.
Speaking after she officiated at the opening of a district-level Pemadam programme at the government rest house here Saturday, she also said that the obvious increase in TB cases among the foreign immigrants, coupled with the patients attitude of delaying in getting a treatment as well as stopping from taking medication have become the Ministry's main challenge in its effort to curb the problem.
She urged the public whose coughing still not over after long period of time to come to the nearest hospital for examination.