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MOH to Cooperate with French Company for TB Prevention
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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 (TB).


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 three years.


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)

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