KHON KAEN, 19 August 2012 – The Public Health Ministry has allocated nearly 200 million baht to fight the spread of Opisthorchis Viverrini in northeastern Thailand
Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon, on Saturday, met with provincial governors, doctors, nurses, health officials and village health volunteers in 20 northeastern provinces during the official opening of a Cholangiocarcinoma treatment center at Khon Kaen University.
Mr. Surawit said that Opisthorchis Viverrini and Cholangiocarcinoma are two major causes of death in the northeastern region, killing more than 28,000 people each year and causing significant damages to the region’s economy and community while also posing threats to national security.
He stated that most patients are aged between 45 and 55 years old, the range that represents active working population.
The Deputy Health Minister said that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has announced the tackling of Opisthorchis Viverrini and Cholangiocarcinoma as the government’s urgent strategic agenda to prevent the lives of more than 21 million northeasterners and to cut down the rate of Cholangiocarcinoma deaths as well as the number of patients to 5 percent.
For this strategic policy, Mr. Surawit said that the government has allocated more than 198 million baht to implement during 2012 and 2013 to promote a consumption behavioral change among residents of the Northeast in hopes of encouraging locals to refrain from consuming raw or semi-cooked fresh water fish.
The budget is also intended to systematically enable healthcare personnel to offer more cancer screening tests and medical follow-ups at all hospitals and health service centers across 20 related northeastern provinces.