Karachi: Director Anti-TB Control Program Sindh, Dr Ismat Ara Khurshid, on Thursday said about 0.5 million people are being affected from TB disease every year in Pakistan, out of which 0.3 million are being provided treatment, while 60,000 TB patients die every year in the country.
She informed this during a press conference held at Karachi Press Club (KPC) in the connection with World TB Day. Deputy Director TB Control Program Dr Hazooran Sheikh, Dr Syed Saleem Hassan and Manger Indus Hospital TB Control Program Dr Ehsaan were also percent on this occasion.
Dr Ismat Ara said Tuberculosis is an infectious disease. She said TB is now the third largest contributor to the disease burden in Pakistan. She said Pakistan is currently ranked 5th among 22 highest burden countries in the world.
She said poverty and unawareness are the major causes of TB prevalence in the country. She said a TB patient could affect 15 other people if he does not get treatment. She said 2 lakh people remained deprive from treatment in Pakistan annually.
She said approximately 117,300 people are being affected from TB disease in Sindh annually out of which 58,000 are being provided treatment, while 55,000 patients remained untreated. She said 13,600 TB patients die of TB annually in Sindh province. She informed that death ratio decreased 45 percent in Pakistan from 1990 to 2014
She further informed that 265 TB diagnostic centers are operating in different big cities and towns of province. She said these centers are providing free of cost treatment facilities to patients affected from TB disease.
Dr Ismat said poverty and unhygienic food are the major factors behind the spread of TB disease in province. She said TB infection generally develops in people with weak immune system from 15 to 40 years of age.
She said urban slums, overcrowding, mass migration of people towards mega cities and lack of awareness among the masses about the disease also causes the high ratio TB cases occurrence in the country annually.