Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – As many as 160,000 Tuberculosis (TB) patients are missed from the treatment of the disease and 56,000 deaths occurred in Pakistan every year from TB.

According to available official data, total TB cases incidence rate per year is 525,000 in Pakistan while the figure of TB cases under treatment is 368,589.

Pakistan ranks four among countries with high incident cases of multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (TB) as estimated 27,000 new cases are reported every year.

When contacted National Coordinator TB Control Program Brig Aamir Ikram said that 1571 microscopy centres have been working in the country. He added a TB treatment success rate is 93 percent.

He said that the government had paid special attention to this critical issue and strengthened the program for providing free treatment to TB patients.

He said that more than three hundred thousand TB patients were benefiting from free diagnostic and treatment facilities every year in Pakistan.

He said that more than 30 hospitals had been upgraded to take care of multi-drug resistant TB cases and 13 laboratories equipped with state of the art facilities were being established in various parts of the country.

The government was committed to achieving the target of eliminating the disease from the country and sought the support of all stakeholders in this regard, he added.

He said that like every year World Tuberculosis (TB) Day was observed in Pakistan on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences and to step up efforts to end the disease epidemic.

He said that World TB Day marked the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.

He said that TB remained the world’s deadliest infectious killer. Each day, nearly 4500 people lost their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease, he added.
He said that global efforts to combat TB had saved an estimated 54 million lives since the year 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 42%.

He added to accelerate the TB response in countries to reach targets heads of states came together and made strong commitments to end TB at the first-ever UN High-Level Meeting in September 2018.