On 24 March 2017, Channel News Asia reported that the number of TB cases in Singapore has risen. There were 1,617 new cases of active TB in 2016 – higher than the 1,498 new cases recorded in 2015. Most of the new TB cases (81.3 per cent) among Singapore residents were from those born in Singapore.

In addition, MOH said that the emergence of multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) – which is more difficult to treat and has lower cure rates – remains a serious public health challenge. In 2016, Singapore had three new cases of MDR-TB who were Singapore-born residents. The death rate for MDR-TB is as high as 30 to 40 per cent.

The rise in TB cases in Singapore is clearly a result of the failure of MOH and TB Control Unit in Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) to control the spread of TB in Singapore. As stated in TTSH website, the Tuberculosis Control Unit (TBCU) in TTSH administers the national tuberculosis control programme. It is responsible for the prevention and control of tuberculosis. It is involved in the clinical management and public health aspects of tuberculosis.

The failure of MOH and TB Control Unit in TTSH to control the spread of TB in Singapore has placed Singaporeans at risk of infection and death from TB. Hence, families and TB patients should hold MOH and TB Control Unit responsible for their health, since it is their failure to control the spread of TB in Singapore that has caused them to be infected.

Moreover, located along Moulmein Road and open to public, TB Control Unit is a soft target for any terrorists who seeks to carry out bioterrorist attacks in Singapore. Should there be a successful arson attacks on TB Control Unit, the terrorists will destroy all medical equipments, treatment records of TB patients and professional healthcare workers required for the control of TB in Singapore. This will exacerbate the spread of TB in Singapore and placed Singaporeans at risk of TB infection.

A.S.S. Contributor

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