Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Recent attempts to institute health care measures against tuberculosis in the Vietnamese population have been hindered because of insufficient information regarding the magnitude of the problem, continuing insecurity in the countryside, and inadequate facilities and manpower. Analysis of existing health statistics reveals that tuberculosis may be emerging as the leading infectious cause of disability and mortality; however, only 1 bed per 22,535 civilians exists for inpatient care, and few outpatient facilities operate effectively. In the densely populated Mekong Delta, tuberculin skin testing of 631 children, ages 1 through 18, showed an increasing number of positive reactions with age; 47.5% of the 17- to 18-year-old group reacted. Tuberculin negative children, retested 9 months later, showed increasing conversion rates with age, up to 13.5% in the 17- to 18-year-old group. It is concluded that a high prevalence of tuberculosis exists in the Mekong Delta and that older children have a 17% chance annually of acquiring infection.


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