Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Report shows more TB research needed



Report shows more TB research needed

Patients sit on beds at the National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district in 2013.
Patients sit on beds at the National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district in 2013. Heng Chivoan

Report shows more TB research needed

A recently published report has found that despite years of high incidence rates of tuberculosis in the Kingdom, research priorities for halting the deadly disease are still being neglected.

The report, published last week in the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine’s journal Health and Policy Planning, says that with funding for TB research decreasing, and the disease burden persisting, the need for increased investment in research is clear. But justification for such investment is questionable when countries, like Cambodia, fail to conduct meaningful research resulting in health care improvements.

In 2015, there were a total of 35,638 cases of TB in Cambodia. However, the study found that high-priority aspects of the disease – such as TB-HIV co-infections, childhood TB and multidrug resistant TB – were not being adequately researched. Coordination among funding organisations, policymakers and researchers is critical, it says.

More than 70 percent of the research in Cambodia was not in line with policymakers’ priorities, according to the study. “Without better coordination, I could see a major problem. As funding is getting more and more restricted with Cambodia transitioning to a lower-middle income country, priority research areas are getting neglected,” said one of the authors, Mishal S Khan, an assistant professor of health policy and systems research at the London School.

“At this time, it is more important than ever to make sure that every amount spent on research or TB control is as effective as possible.”

One way for Cambodia to address this issue could be for policymakers, such as the WHO, NGOs and the government, to establish a platform where they discuss and agree on research priorities, Khan added.

Those research priorities could then be laid out in a public document to guide local and international researchers conducting research in the future.

“It would help to ensure that funding devoted to research in Cambodia is relevant and useful to the country,” he said.

Dr Mao Tan Eang, director of the National Centre for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control, declined to comment yesterday.

Dr Katsunori Osuga, a TB expert with WHO Cambodia, would only say through a spokeswoman that there are two technical working groups meeting regularly with departments, institutions and partners to not only discuss and plan technical issues, but also research, he explained.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from