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100 TB cases recorded in first three months of 2014 — ministry

By Khetam Malkawi - May 19,2014 - Last updated at May 19,2014

AMMAN — One hundred cases of tuberculosis (TB) were diagnosed in Jordan in the first three months of the year, 50 of them among non-Jordanians, a Health Ministry official said on Sunday.

Khaled Abu Rumman, director of the ministry’s respiratory diseases department, said 30 cases were diagnosed among workers in the Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs).

Abu Rumman noted that several cases were detected among workers in the QIZs, which “prompted us to move to these zones and conduct tests there”.

Other cases, he added, were among guest workers and foreigners residing in Jordan.

Meanwhile, 37 cases of hepatitis were diagnosed among non-Jordanians in the period in question, in addition to 19 cases of HIV/AIDS.

Although Abu Rumman declined to comment on the latest TB cases diagnosed among Syrian refugees, in March he said that 109 TB cases have been detected among Syrians in Jordan, 40 of them in the Zaatari Refugee Camp.

In addition, four of the cases were diagnosed as multi-drug resistant TB.

Abu Rumman said the ministry supervises the medication of all refugees diagnosed with TB as part of the “Public Health Strategy among Syrian Refugees” launched earlier this year.

He noted that the strategy — launched in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNHCR — seeks to reduce TB transmission among Syrian refugees.

The official told The Jordan Times that even before the refugee crisis started in 2011, the prevalence of TB among Syrians was 24 cases per 100,000, while in Jordan the rate is six per 100,000 people.

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