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.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration