PUTRAJAYA, Nov 18 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed several cases of tuberculosis have been detected in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, however the disease in the country is still under control, said its minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.

She said that tuberculosis is always present in the country, however, the public is advised not to panic, because the Public Health Division of the MOH consistently monitors the development of the disease.

“The Public Health Division is looking into this issue and we don’t want untrue things to be spread, as we don’t want the public to panic.

“Tuberculosis does exist but it is under control. We encourage patients to seek treatment if there are any signs of the disease, especially a persistent cough,” she told the media, after officiating the national-level World Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Week today.

Dr Zaliha said that the public can obtain information on the number of tuberculosis cases in their area through the MySejahtera application.

She said the state health departments will issue a statement on the latest development of tuberculosis disease soon.

Among the main symptoms of the disease are persistent cough lasting more than two weeks, fever, night sweats, lack of appetite, weight loss and coughing up blood.

Earlier, when speaking at the programme, Dr Zaliha said that a comprehensive One Health approach is needed to curb the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

She said AMR not only impacts human health, but also includes the health of animals, plants and the environment.

She added that Malaysia actively combats AMR through the One Health approach, having established the National Antimicrobial Resistance Committee (NARC) in 2017.

“This committee, co-chaired by the Health and the Veterinary Services directors-general, plays an important role in overseeing and coordinating strategies and activities related to AMR containment.

“This includes awareness and education programmes, monitoring and research, infection prevention and control measures and the regulation of reasonable antimicrobial use,” she said.

At the event, Dr Zaliha also launched the Malaysian Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan (MyAP-AMR) 2022-2026, which also includes the environmental and plant health sectors.

“This new action plan aims to put together a successful and sustainable antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programme, in both public and private healthcare facilities, as well as in the animal health sector,” she said. — Bernama