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WHO finds TB, malaria return as killer diseases

DHAKA, Bangladesh (Reuters) -- Tuberculosis and malaria, once believed under control, are killing millions of people in Southeast Asian countries, a World Health Organization (WHO) official said Monday.

"TB and Malaria, which were once considered to have been brought under control, are (now) rampant ... in developing countries and specifically in our region," Dr Uton Muchtar Rafei, WHO regional director in Southeast Asia, told a Dhaka health conference.

The three-day conference on tuberculosis and malaria, attended by about 50 parliamentarians from 10 Southeast Asian countries, was opened by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

"An estimated 40 percent of the population is infected with TB in our region and more than 1.5 million people died of TB last year," Rafei said.

"The poor are more than twice as likely to get TB than non-poor. Globally, 95 percent of TB cases occur in poor countries," he said.

He said an estimated 25 million people suffered from malaria and over 1.25 billion people were at risk of contracting malaria in the region.

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



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RELATED SITES:
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