There were more than 15,000 Tuberculosis patients in the country, Consultant Chest Physician at the Polonnaruwa Hospital Dr. Nandika Harischandra told a media briefing on Friday.
The World Tuberculosis Day was marked this year on Friday, March 24.
“More than 10,000 persons are diagnosed with TB in the country every year and in addition there are about 5,000 patients at large and not receiving treatment,” he said.
Dr. Harischandra said the patients who refrained from obtaining treatment endangered their life and crated a health hazard to others as well.
He told the media that AIDS and TB were communicable diseases that caused the largest number of deaths in the world and that a large number of people in the developing countries die of TB every year although it was curable if treatment was taken properly.
He said that the World Health Organisation considered Sri Lanka as a country where TB was not yet eradicated.
He also said prevention of the disease required public awareness.
Medical Officer In Charge of the Anti-Tuberculosis Campaign Dr. Jeewani Samaraweera and Head PHI of the Polonnaruwa Chest Clinic addressed the media conference that marked the World Tuberculosis Day. (K.G. Karunaratne)