The Ministry of Health signed a letter of intent in Beijing on
Saturday with a leading French bio-tech company, Merieux Alliance,
on cooperation in the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis
The Fondation Merieux will invest one million euros for
cooperation in developing TB diagnostic technology, training
doctors and nurses and establishing laboratories in the coming
Huang Jiefu, Vice Minister of Health, said although China has
made achievements in the control of TB, the incidence and death
rates of TB remained grave with increasing cases of drug resistance
and double infections of TB and HIV/AIDS and poor healthcare among
the migrant population.
TB is a chronic disease spread by airborne particles emitted by
coughing, sneezing or talking. It is an infectious disease with the
highest death toll in China.
According to official statistics, China currently has 4.5
million TB patients and some 130,000 patients die from the disease
in China annually.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has set March 24 as the
World TB Day, aiming to arouse public awareness of the importance
of timely diagnosis and effective treatment for TB patients to
prevent the spread of the disease.
(Xinhua News Agency March 25, 2007)