About 124,000 cases of tuberculosis (TB) are reported in Vietnam annually, with 12,000 succumbing to the disease, according to the government’s official statistics.

Nguyen Viet Nhung, director of the National Lung Hospital in Hanoi, said Vietnam is ranked in the top 30 countries with the highest rates of TB, Xinhua News reported.

Vietnam is ranked 16th for the total number of patients with the disease and 13th for the number of patients that have the drug-resistant strain of TB.

The doctor said that up to 70% of Vietnamese TB patients are of working age, so that means their having the disease is an economic problem for the patients’ families as well.

However, the number of infections has been reduced in recent years. The doctor accredited this to the mastery of TB detections, diagnosis and treatment in the country.

Health officials in Vietnam expect the country will eradicate the disease completely by 2030.