Thailand is struggling with tuberculosis, and remains in the list of the world’s 14 worst hit countries.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but they can also damage other parts of the body. TB spreads through the air when a person with TB of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, or talks.
Presently, one-quarter of the world’s population is thought to be infected with TB, with more than 95% of the cases occurring in developing countries.
Arth Nana, executive committee chairman of the Anti-TB Association, says Thailand needs to do away with TB before 2021. In 2017 the Disease Control Department put in place a five year goal to rid Thailand of the TB plague. The World Health Organsation has set its own goal to reduce the number of TB patients to fewer than 10 in 100,000 by 2035.
“We are one of the 14 worst countries hit by this severely infectious disease which has spread across 200 countries, said Arth.
But with three years to go, so far Thailand has made little inroads into tackling the spread and growth of the TB problem. In Bangkok new cases of the disease are on the rise, much of this due to the influx of migrant workers.
The high number of drug-resistant cases was among the factors that put Thailand in the pool of 14 worst-hit countries for TB ranked by the World Health Organisation.
According to the Bangkok Post, Dr Wongwat Lewlak, deputy chief of City Hall’s Health Department, blames our “hectic and stressful lifestyles in the crowded city” for making people neglect their health.
“The need to earn a living means many patients are too busy to remember those appointments with doctors or they decide to stop taking the drugs as soon as they start to feel better.”
Less monitoring, more enforcement – Prawit warns northern officials
PHOTO: The Thaiger
Thai Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwan and Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa were in Chiang Mai yesterday to give provincial governors and state agency officials a ‘heads up’ in preparation for another looming season of forest fires and haze.
The North suffers perennial choking smog from approximately February to April, and Prawit passed on a message from PM Prayut Chan-o-cha who, he said, was fretting over the impact on people’s health.
He said the Environment Ministry would take the lead in coordinating with neighbouring countries and related local authorities to monitor the fire problem both in and outside Thailand.
The fires are lit in northern Thailand, and over the border in Myanmar, as burn-offs to prepare for the next year’s crops. Last year’s choking smoke haze was headline news for months.
SOURCE: The Nation
Thai PM says Cabinet is adding new pollution controls, while academic finds solutions ineffective
In his weekly televised show yesterday, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha said his government has always been concerned about air pollution, especially PM2.5 or microscopic dust particles, which he put down to smog from other countries, traffic jams, burning of farming waste, factory emission and dust from construction sites.
“PM2.5 is dangerous, especially for children, babies, pregnant women and elders, whose immunity is too fragile to tackle the microscopic dust.”
“People should be particularly careful during December as there are no winds or rain to blow away the dust.”
He also urged people not to panic, saying it is necessary to understand all the issues first. He explained that the Cabinet approved a proposal last week to tackle the pollution crisis at four levels.
“We have explained them to all provinces and have asked for coordinated cooperation”.
The premier had previously warned that the authorities would arrest polluting car owners. Meanwhile, an academic was pessimistic about the effectiveness of the measures implemented by the government.
Sumet Ongkittikul, research director at Thailand Development Research Institute told The Nation… “Removing polluting cars from Bangkok streets will not help much as long as diesel-powered vehicles continue plying the streets of the capital.”
Instead, he said, the government should follow China’s way of tackling air pollution in Beijing, where it promoted the use of electric motorbikes and cut down on the number of cars.
SOURCE: The Nation
PHOTO: Prayut Chan-o-cha speaking in his weekly TV appearance – Royal Thai Government
Bangkok’s blue skies return, but light smog lingers
PHOTO: Prae Sakaowan
The air pollution situation around Bangkok has vastly improved in the past 24 hours, returning to more reasonable readings around the city. Certainly most of the city is now reading under 100 and in the ‘moderate’ range of the air pollution scale, according to airvisual.com
Bangkok’s Pollution Control Department reported at 9am today that levels of particulate matter 2.5 microns and less in diameter (PM2.5) were measured at 19-52 per cubic metre of air in parts of the inner city. Some of the manufacturing hubs immediately outside Bangkok were getting higher readings.
Whilst the winds remain light (below) around the capital the threat of the poor air quality returning is ever-present. On Monday PM Prayut Chan-o-cha called on the private and public sector to work together to solve Bangkok’s long-term air quality challenges.
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