Peshawar: Pakistan ranks 4th among high burden TB countries in the world. An estimated 50,000 new TB cases occur in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa every year. This was shared in an advocacy seminar conducted by TB Control Programme, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The seminar was arranged on World TB Day to create mass awareness on this disease and to pay tribute to pay tribute to Dr. Robert Koch for his discovery of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis in 1882.
Among the prominent speakers, the Provincial Minister for Health (Mr. Shaukat Ali Yousafzai), the Secretary Health (Mr. Ghulam Qadir Khan), Director General Health Services (Dr. S. Abdul Waheed Shah Burki), Head of Pulmonology Department LRH (Professor Dr. Arshad Javaid), Project Director of TB Control Programme (Dr. Ubaid Hussain), Deputy Manager National TB Control Programme (Dr. Hussain Hadi) and Provincial Project Manager GFATM (Dr. Maqsood Ali Khan) addressed the seminar to highlight the importance of World TB Day and to create awareness on this dreadful disease. The seminar was attended by representatives of health department, donor agencies and implementing partners of the Provincial TB Control Programme, experts on TB and chest diseases, community representatives, teachers, students and media personnel.
Speaking on the occasion, the provincial Minister for health shared that:
“Controlling TB is top priority of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The present Government is committed to combat this epidemic by devoting all resources to reduce the socio-economic burden placed by this disease upon families and communities. This can only be achieved with our full motivation and commitment. ”
While commending the efforts of the TB Control Programme, the Secretary Health appraised the forum that
“Though Provincial TB Control Programme has achieved the targets of case detection rate of 68 % and treatment success rate of 94% which are in line with the World Health Organization’s recommendations. Yet, achieving the targets is not an end of the journey. The availability of free anti-TB drugs and trained and motivated human resource at the diagnostic and treatment centres are encouraging but to sustain the achieved targets, we must continue with the same spirit and improve the quality of free services”.
The Director General Health Services Khyber Pakhtunkhwa informed the audience that, “Health Department in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has established 232 Basic Management Units (Diagnostic centers) and 810 functional treatment centers all over the province. Quality assured anti-TB drugs and diagnostic facilities are provided free of cost”.
“In 2013, TB Control Programme Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was able to register 38803 patients with 94 % treatment success rate. World Health Organization has estimated about 1200 cases of Multi Drug Resistance (MDR-TB) annually in the province. The Program’s target is to enhance the capacity of public and private sector to detect and manage 80% of the estimated smear positive MDR-TB incident cases by 2017”, said Dr. Ubaid Hussain, the Project Director, TB Control Program.
He further informed that free of cost provision of anti-TB drugs has been initiated to TB patients seeking treatment from selected private health clinics in specified districts.
The provincial Minister for Health also distributed shields of acknowledgement among professionals for their contribution to control TB in the province. He also acknowledged the support extended by KFW, National TB Control Program, WHO, Global Fund, EPOS, ACD and ASD for their continued assistance and thanked all the implementing partners who contributed substantially in case finding and case holding of TB patients in the province.