Cambodia turns a TB health crisis into an opportunity

Twenty years ago, Cambodia had one of the world’s highest tuberculosis (TB) rates and a health system weakened by decades of conflict and economic hardship. Over the past decade, however, new approaches that provide universal access to TB care through primary health centres have halved the number of new cases and helped the country meet global targets for detection and treatment. (See more detail)
“These results are a major achievement for TB control. They prove that in low-income settings persistence, commitment and competence do succeed in saving lives,” says Dr Mario Raviglione, Director of WHO’s Stop TB Department. Cambodia’s success story is highlighted in the Global Tuberculosis Report 2012 published by WHO.

Health system in tatters
In the early 1990s, Cambodia was struggling with a health system left in tatters after decades of civil war and Khmer Rouge rule. Much of the infrastructure had been destroyed and fewer than 50 doctors were left practicing from a former workforce of around 600.

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