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* Diagnosis of TB patients sharply increased in Sri Lanka
Wed, Mar 24, 2010, 07:58 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka's national programme for Tuberculosis prevention says that the diagnosis of TB patients has sharply increased in recent years.

Annually, around 9000-10,000 TB patients are reported in Sri Lanka. The majority of them are found from Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Kandy, and Galle districts, according to the data released by the TB prevention programme.

Today is the World Tuberculosis Day. The theme of this year's observance of World TB Day is "On the move against Tuberculosis".

TB claimed 1.8 million lives last year, making it the second biggest infectious killer of adults worldwide.

Last year, 185 tuberculosis patients were diagnosed from Welikada prison alone in Sri Lanka.

Issuing a statement regarding the World Tuberculosis Day 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that TB ranks among the top three killers of women of reproductive age.

According to the UNSG, rates of new TB cases are falling worldwide, but not yet in all countries.

"Overall, rates of decline are far slower than needed. Lapses in control drive the rise of multidrug-resistant TB, which is far more costly and difficult to treat, and remind us of the constant risk of setbacks," he said.

"The world is on track to reverse the spread of this airborne killer. Deaths from TB continue to decline. These gains owe much to the many health-care providers, governmental and non-governmental patient advocates, and others who have helped to treat and cure 36 million people since 1995. As a result, about 6 million lives have been saved. Our challenge now is to maintain this momentum," he said.

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