Over Half Million New TB Cases Emerge In Pakistan Every Year: Health Experts

Over half million new TB cases emerge in Pakistan every year:  Health experts

Health experts on Thursday expressing their concern over growing number of Tuberculosis (TB) cases in the country said that every year 0.5 million new cases were emerging in Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD,(UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 6th Dec, 2018 ) :Health experts on Thursday expressing their concern over growing number of Tuberculosis (TB) cases in the country said that every year 0.5 million new cases were emerging in Pakistan.

Addressing the 61st quarterly Inter-provincial meeting here, they said that, 140,000 were those patents among them who remain unaware about their disease that resulting increase the number of TB cases.

They said that high prevalence disease rate was making Pakistan fifth among high burden countries worldwide and accounts for 61 percent of the TB burden in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region.

National Coordinator TB Control Programme, Dr Aamir Ikram said that joint efforts and strategy was a must to control the spread of disease in the country.

Concrete measures were being taken to stop further increase of cases, he added.

He said that prevention and treatment were the major aspects for all stakeholders to consider, as awareness was essential among people to adopt disease preventive measures while the government was committed to ensure provision of best medical care to TB patients.

Joint Secretary Ministry of National Health Services Shahzad Nawaz Cheema said that an improvement in health sector was the top most priority of the present government.

He added the ministry was fully committed to address the issue of increasing number of TB cases and solid steps were being taken in this regard, he added.

Director Global TB Programme, Dr Tereza Kasaeva said that TB kills 1.6 million people every year across the globe while there was a major challenge as one in every four TB affected patient could not get treatment facility for the disease.

Director, Division of Communicable Disease Control, Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Rana Hajjeh said that the government and public should work jointly to get rid from the disease as the United Nations had set the target of complete control on disease by 2030.

She stressed upon all factions of society to come ahead for an effective awareness drive to root out tuberculosis.

Other speakers said that Pakistan also estimated to have the fourth highest prevalence of multi drug-resistant TB globally.

They said that the key reasons for emergence of drug resistance from of TB included delay in diagnosis, unsupervised, inappropriate and inadequate drug regimes, poor follow up and lack of a social support programme for high risk populations.

They said that TB treatment programme DOTS was a ray of hope for patients and the problem was that patients usually stop using medicines due to which viral gets strong, they noted.

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