Tuesday, January 31

TB still big challenge for policymakers

KARACHI: Approximately 121,000 patients suffering from tuberculosis either do not seek medical treatment or leave their treatment unfinished in Pakistan.

Abdul Khaliq Domki, Additional Director TB Control Program Sindh said this in his address to a TB Awareness Seminar on World TB Day, organized by Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS )at Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases.

He said such an act makes their disease more resistant infecting other healthy people in their surroundings.

Pakistan TB Control Program has set a target to reduce the number TB patients by 91% by 2020. The vision to start this TB Control Program is to decrease the number of people who have TB and are not going through proper treatment.

Within this period, the number of patients developing cancer through Multi Drug Resistant Tuberculosis will be minimized by at least 5%.

Last year, there were 72,000 TB patients who were cured in different hospitals of Sindh, said Domki.

The seminar was attended by the Pro-Vice Chancellor DUHS Dr Mohammad Masroor, Director Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases, Nisar Ahmed Rao, Deputy Director Dr Nadeem, Dr Ismat Ara and others.

Director Sindh TB Control Program further said that Tuberculosis is not only a danger for the patients who are suffering from it but also for the society. TB is a contagious disease, thus, it has to be controlled. Our mission is to get rid of this contagious disease TB in Pakistan. We also have to focus upon control the deaths occurring from this devastating disease.

Pro-Vice Chancellor DUHS Prof Mohammad Masroor said that every year there emerge 268 new types of cancers per 100,000 of population while there are dozens of the types of cancers that have already been discovered.

Similarly, there is 341 persistent TB patients rate every year. Despite of the provision of free TB treatment by the Government of Pakistan, people are ignoring this hazardous disease.

He further said that the theme for this public awareness program on TB Day is to urge leaders for making a TB free World and stop TB.

A TB Leader is every person affected by or active in TB and willing and daring to speak up and engage to end TB through their work and personal engagement. A TB patient’s treatment can sum up to 6.5 lac rupees to 10 lac rupees approximately.

Last year, Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases and its OPDs at different constituent institutions have examined 114,036 TB patients, out of them 41,036 were the cases of new cancers.

Deputy Director Ojha Dr Nadeem said that the laboratory of Ojha Institute of Chest diseases is considered as the provincial reference laboratory.

The seminar was started with TB Awareness Walk from Ojha Institute of Chest Diseases and ended at the Dow International Medical College.

Later, Prof. Mohammad Masroor led a walk in which the attendees were holding banners and placards to raise public awareness about the TB.