KUALA NERUS: The health ministry has taken legal action against 12 tuberculosis (TB) patients nationwide for failing to continue treatment for the disease over the past four years, says its deputy minister Lukanisman Awang Sauni.
He said two of these cases were recorded last year.
All of them were subjected to legal action under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.
“Treatment for TB is a combination of four types of antibiotics and must be taken continuously for six months.
“Based on the latest data, these 12 patients had stopped receiving treatment and legal action was taken in accordance with the Act,” Lukanisman said after officiating the World Tuberculosis Day 2023 event at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu here today.
He said the ministry keeps in contact with such patients through the phone or online. If this fails, then health officers are sent out to trace them.
The ministry has launched the ‘MyChampion: Community Health Agent’ programme, a volunteer programme, to help detect and carry out activities such as TB screening, he added.
Health minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa previously said 2,572 deaths due to TB were recorded last year – an increase of 12% or 284 cases compared to 2021.
She said 25,391 cases were reported last year, which is an increase of 3,664 or 17% compared to 21,727 cases reported the previous year.