21/01/2013: Tuberculosis (TB) cases spiked in Malaysia last year with 4, 426 cases compared to the 3, 794 cases in the previous year.
Out of the total cases, 30 per cent were reported in Sabah. Foreign immigrants have been blamed for this increase, as it was reported 19 per cent of the patients were Filipino nationals.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said, last year Kota Kinabalu recorded the highest number of TB cases with 689 followed by Sandakan's 541 cases, 494 cases in Tawau, 314 cases in Semporna, Keningau 303 cases, Lahad Datu 294 cases, Papar 199 cases and Tuaran witth 188 cases.
“The highest numbers of TB cases involving foreigners were recorded in Lahad Datu with 62 per cent of the overall total in Sabah,”
Datuk Rosnah revealed at the opening of PEMADAM district level programme at Papar on Saturday.
Rosnah said the number of deaths caused by TB also increased to 239 cases last year, an increase by 51 people compared to 188 cases in the same period in 2011.
Foreigners contribute 40 per cent of the total number of deaths cause by TB.
She said the Ministry’s main challenge in the effort to curb this problem comes from the patients' attitude. More often than not they delay seeking treatment or not taking medication as ordered by the doctors.
She urged the public to take TB seriously and seek help at the nearest hospital if they suspect that they may have Tuberculosis.