Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the top infectious diseases in Hong Kong as an average of 270 people were killed by the epidemic annually in the metropolis during recent years, a senior health official said here Sunday.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the annual World TB Day, Dr. Gloria Tam, the Acting Director of Health, said that it would be incorrect to think that the disease was something of the past and had no local relevance.
According to the Department of Health's figures, 6,000 new TB cases were reported annually in Hong Kong, whose socio-economic developments and public health efforts were among one of the world developed regions.
Dr. Tam said that nearly 9 million new cases and more than 1. 5million deaths were reported worldwide each year, stressing the importance of setting March 24 each year to be the World TB Day by the World Health Organization (WHO).
"While there may be growing interest in other infectious and chronic diseases for whatever reasons, I urge people not to lose sight of TB," she said, adding: "that everyone can do something to stop TB, and every individual action counts."
The WHO had selected "I am stopping TB" as the slogan for World TB Day 2008, marking the start of a two-year campaign appealing for a concerted effort of people around the world to stop the epidemic.
(Xinhua News Agency March 24, 2008)