About 900,000 cases of active tuberculosis (TB) were discovered and treated in 2011, including 423,000 infectious cases, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced Monday at a press conference.
Xiao Donglou, a health inspector from the MOH, said at the press conference that China improved its ability to prevent and control TB last year, focusing on HIV/TB co-infections and cases of TB among the country's migrant population.
Xiao said 1,701 HIV/TB co-infections were reported last year, as well as 51,682 cases of TB among the migrant population.
Xiao also mentioned China's cooperation with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), saying TB programs funded by the Global Fund have resumed operation following half a year of "correcting and readjusting."
Xiao said that some localities, enabled by investments from the Global Fund and local governments, have paid for travel expenses related to medical care for TB patients, as well as offered nutrition subsidies.
Additionally, under another program carried out by the MOH and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the time needed to diagnose a case of drug-resistant TB has been shortened from six to eight weeks to just six hours using state-of-the-art technology, Xiao said.
Tuberculosis disproportionately affects poor people, who often cannot afford effective treatment and live in areas with inadequate sanitation.