Maldives to spend USD11 mln to eradicate TB by 2022

Maldives government on Monday declared a USD 11 million budget to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) by the year 2022.

World Health Organization (WHO) considers TB among the deadliest of all communicable diseases and had adopted a resolution for a TB free world by 2030.

Maldives aims to be TB free in five years and during a ceremony held to constitute a national committee, Dr. Fathimath Nazla admitted the huge work ahead to reach the goal.

If the country is to reach the target, it needs to lower the number of people who test positive for TB to 10 percent each year, Nazla said.

"If we look at our calculations we would need around USD11 million for this nationwide effort," she added.

Maldives has seen an uptick in TB in recent years which has been mainly down to a lack of proper screening for the disease.

If caught early enough, tuberculosis can be treated with antibiotics and typically only requires at most two weeks of quarantine.

Last year, 134 people tested positive for TB while another 114 foreign visitors had also tasted positive for the disease during medical checks.