According to the National Center for Communicable Diseases (NCCD), more than 4,000 cases of tuberculosis are reported annually in Mongolia.
The majority of those who have tuberculosis or 70 percent of all patients are between the ages of 16 to 45 while 10 percent of patients are children. In order to raise awareness and educate the public, NCCD and the Mongolian Association of Soum Doctors and Experts will be organizing a forum between November 23 and 24 at Blue Sky Hotel.
Ulaanbaatar residents account for 58.6 percent of all patients while those residing in the countryside account for 39.7 percent of all reported cases. Tuberculosis is listed in the top 10 deadliest diseases worldwide. As of 2016, Mongolia ranked third out of 37 countries in the Asia Pacific region in terms of the number of tuberculosis cases.
Statistics show that around 200 people die annually due to tuberculosis and while the cases of the disease fell from 2012 to 2015, 2016 has marked a resurgence in the number of reported cases. Outside of premature mortality, tuberculosis has left many unable to work. In 2012, 1,775 individuals were not able to work due to tuberculosis while that number rose to 2,380 in 2016.
Many doctors and experts underline the need to correct the incorrect perceptions surrounding tuberculosis. Doctors note that many believe that tuberculosis is passed genetically when in fact it is a communicable disease that is transmitted by the air.
According to statistics, 50 percent of individuals that have symptoms of tuberculosis, including a persistent cough for over 14 days, do not contact their doctor. A study conducted between individuals from the ages of 16 to 36 revealed that more than 70 percent of participants went to pharmacy for help instead of a doctor when symptoms arose.
NCCD reported that the strains of tuberculosis have began to become immune to many treatments. Currently, more than 85 percent of cases are treated successfully while 10 to 15 percent of patients do not respond well to treatment and experience complications.