As the World Health Organization has officially declared the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now beginning to fully grasp the devastating impact it had on TB care across Vietnam. It is clear that we urgently need to accelerate our efforts to find people with TB and provide them with treatment to regain lost progress.
In 2023, our priority at FIT remains improving access to TB services. We aim to reach as many people as possible to create better health outcomes for all. We are working hard to extend our screening services into vulnerable communities using ultra-portable diagnostic equipment. We detect and treat latent TB infection before transmission can occur, along with ensuring that free-of-charge, quality medication makes it into the hands of those who need it most.
Together with the National TB Program and our NGO partners, we are dedicated to turning the tide in the fight against TB. Thank you for your continued support as we strive to improve post-pandemic service delivery and help all affected individuals in Vietnam.
The 2022 Global TB Report was recently published (see link). Viet Nam was mentioned quite a bit in this report, but sadly because the country's TB treatment coverage rate dropped to just 46% in 2021. Viet Nam was among the 10 countries with the highest number of missed people with TB.
FIT is continuing to partner with the National TB Program, other researchers and NGO partners to contribute to an improvement in TB treatment coverage in 2023. We are doing this through mass mobilization of vulnerable populations for X-ray screening and PCR testing for TB. We detect and treat latent TB infection, to "turn off the tap" for active infections. We also suport all people detected with TB to access affordable, highest quality medications.
Thank you for your continued support as we fight both TB and COVID-19 in Viet Nam.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, over 609 million cases and 6.5 million deaths have been reported globally. Although the coronavirus does not represent the same threat as when it first began to spread, it is still a lethal concern that demands social attention. The pandemic has had extensive adverse effects on the global TB responses, threatening to erase years of progress.
In Viet Nam alone, there was a three percent decline in TB case notifications and an eight percent increase in DR-TB case notifications in 2020 compared to 2019. Despite the negative impacts, the pandemic has forced many TB services to be adapted for worst-case scenarios. Medication delivery and remote monitoring of treatment continue to be adopted by several District TB Units and Commune Health Stations (CHS) after a pilot program conducted by FIT during lockdown periods. Since the second quarter of 2022, FIT has collaborated with local health facilities to conduct 164 mental health counseling sessions and 40 quality-of-life surveys for people with DR-TB. In addition to mental health counseling, a PHQ-9 Depression Test Questionnaire was completed at each session.
Thanks to your generous contributions, our organization was able to provide monetary assistance to hundreds of people enrolled in TB treatment. These donations have allowed our community aid staff to directly counsel and give over 1,800 TB-affected individuals vitamin support and 290 nutritional support packages. They received cash transfers of up to 3,000,000 VND (USD 130) split over three payments on the condition that they adhered to and eventually completed their treatment.
We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to everyone who has contributed to our campaign. Your generosity has directly benefited thousands of families over the course of this project – providing the support they need to complete their treatment. Your ongoing support has been integral to improving the quality of life for the TB-affected community in Viet Nam during these uncertain times.
We at FIT would like to extend our gratitude to everyone who has contributed to our campaign. Your generous donations have been integral to improving the quality of life for the TB-affected community in Viet Nam during this difficult time. This year, we received numerous contributions that led to a direct positive impact on TB treatment adherence.
COVID-19 completely altered the TB treatment landscape worldwide, and the effects were particularly damaging in Viet Nam. Strict social distancing restrictions limited people's ability to seek treatment, accessing medication became more complicated, and concerns about being infected with COVID-19 at a health facility limited the number of individuals who sought TB care.
In 2022, lockdowns and restrictions began to be lifted across the country, but many TB services have been adapted as a result of the pandemic. One notable change is that medication delivery and remote monitoring of treatment have been adopted by several District TB Units and Commune Health Stations (CHS) after a pilot program conducted by FIT during lockdowns. We have subsequently collaborated with dozens of CHS staff to identify lay health workers who can take direct responsibility for assisting with treatment linkage and medication adherence in the community.
Your contributions have enabled our organization to provide monetary assistance to hundreds of people enrolled in TB treatment. Donations have allowed our community aid staff to counsel and provide over 800 people with TB with nutritional support packages. They have received cash transfers of up to 3,000,000 VND (USD 130) throughout the course of their TB treatment, provided that they can show progress towards completion of their full course of their TB treatment.
Thank you for your generosity! It has benefited hundreds of families – providing the support they need to complete their treatment. Without your donations, these crucial TB treatment adherence programs would not be possible to maintain. Your ongoing support is vital and much appreciated!
With sincere gratitude,
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