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Reports MDGs in BhutanBO Focus - MDGs: Where are we?
MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases
HIV/AIDS Given the low population base, the rising trend of HIV infection wiht new cases being detected with increasing frequency is an alarming development. It is estimated that more than 500 people would be potentially infected by living undetected currently. The total numbers of HIV cases detected remain small and the prevalence is estimated to be below 0.01% of the population. In 2010, saw a total of 217 cases detected.
Case detection over the last few years reflect an alarming rise with the main mode of transmission being through heterosexual sex (94%). Mother to child transmissions has also witnessed a significant rise in recent years. The people detected with HIV/AIDS are representative of a wide cross section of Bhutanese society and come from fifteen of the country's twenty districts. About 88% of all HIV/AIDS cases detected so far fall into the age group between the ages of 20 to 49.
Malaria was once a major public health burden but does not pose as serious a threat today as it once did. Malaria cases and incidence have declined dramatically over the last two decades. The rapid and progressive declines in malaria cases have also been accompanied by significant reductions in the mortality from malarial infection with only two deaths in 2007 as compared to 5 in 2004, 15 in 2000 and 63 in 1993.
Tuberculosis incidence and cases have declined extremely from 720 cases per 100,000, in 1990 to 127 cases per 100,000 in 2007. This success, particularly over the last decade is largely attributed to the introduction of the Directly Observed Treatment Short Courses (DOTS) in 1997 implemented under the National Tuberculosis Control Programme. DOTS has had a noticeable impact on improving cure rates for TB in the country. Bhutan as such is well on track to achieve the MDT of halting and reversing the spread of Tuberculosis in the country. However, with the rising HIV/AIDS prevalence, TB incidences and related fatality may increase.
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