Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - TB diagnoses lag: study

TB diagnoses lag: study

A patient and a family member sit on a bed at the National Center for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district.
A patient and a family member sit on a bed at the National Center for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district. Heng Chivoan

TB diagnoses lag: study

A lack of diagnostic equipment in Cambodia is causing cases of tuberculosis to be both over- and under-reported in children, a new study finds.

The study, published in online peer-reviewed journal BioMed Central Public Health, found the “availability of advanced diagnostic tools was low”.

“Only 27.5% of clinicians had Xpert machines available at their facility, and 5% had equipment to perform gastric aspiration,” the study reads.

But even when equipment was available, it wasn’t always used effectively.

While more than 77 percent of 40 clinicians interviewed said they had a chest X-ray at their health care centre, less than 35 percent of 104 parents reported that an X-ray examination was conducted on their child.

The limited availability of these tools, and “suboptimal clinician performance”, highlighted that more resources should be allocated to improve diagnoses of tuberculosis cases “which are likely being missed”, the report concluded.

Dr Mao Tan Eang, director of the National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control, said while lack of equipment was a persistent problem, training in screening – not necessarily diagnosis – was widespread.

“In terms of diagnosing children, it’s quite complicated. We have trained some, but they need to be further refreshed in terms of diagnosis as well as [screening] training,” he said, adding diagnosis can only be done at the hospital level, not at the health-centre level.

He doubted there was much “over-diagnosis”, saying they identify 6,000-7,000 cases of tuberculosis per year.

Ministry of Health spokesman Ly Sovann described the situation as “very difficult” and said the government was trying to “reduce the prevalence of tuberculosis”, but did not elaborate on funding questions.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all