MANILA, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Some 30 percent or 3 million of the 9 million people who develop tuberculosis (TB) every year in the world are "missed", The World Health Organization (WHO) in Western Pacific Region said here Saturday, the World TB Day.
It means that 3 million TB patients are not found, treated and reported to national health authorities, the organization said, calling on governments, policy makers, health care providers and civil society organizations to prioritize programs against the disease.
"We must ensure that we can identify every single case of TB, as many individuals with TB remain undiagnosed and untreated," said Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific.
WHO said that in the Western Pacific Region, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam and China account for 93 percent of the estimated TB burden of 1.6 million cases and 110,000 deaths each year. Among them, about one in five TB cases are missed, it added.
Dr. Nobuyuki Nishikiori, team leader of Stop TB and Leprosy Elimination at the WHO regional office for Western Pacific, said the "significant challenge in the region is that there are too many people with TB who remain undiagnosed in the community."
"The majority of these cases are people who live in some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities, or are among marginalized populations such as migrants, prisoners and ethnic minorities," he said.
WHO said in order to meet the challenge, it has developed a new global strategy that was recommended for consideration and adoption by the 67th World Health Assembly which meets this coming May.
WHO data showed that in 2012, 8.6 million people fell ill with TB and 1.3 million died from the disease.