Pakistan ranks sixth glob­ally among high TB risk coun­tries

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

IS­LAM­ABAD—Pakistan ranks sixth glob­ally among the 22 high tu­ber­cu­lo­sis risk coun­tries, con­tribut­ing 43 per cent of the dis­ease to­wards the Eastern-Mediter­ranean re­gion of World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO). Ac­cord­ing to avail­able data, the in­ci­dence of TB per 100,000 pop­u­la­tion in Pakistan is 181, case no­ti­fi­ca­tion per 100,000 per year is 150 while the treat­ment suc­cess rate is 85 per cent.

Of­fi­cial sources said more than 700,000 TB pa­tients have been treated free of charge and 100 per cent lat­est treat­ment method­ol­ogy of DOTS cov­er­age is achieved in the coun­try. They said train­ing and health ed­u­ca­tion ma­te­ri­als have been de­vel­oped and all health care providers con­cerned have been trained.

They said ex­ter­nal qual­ity as­sur­ance for spu­tum mi­croscopy is im­ple­mented in 40 dis­tricts of the coun­try while five ref­er­ence lab­o­ra­to­ries have been es­tab­lished, one at fed­eral level and one each at pro­vin­cial level. They said an es­ti­mated one-third of the world’s pop­u­la­tion is cur­rently in­fected with TB.

The World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion is work­ing on its plan to cut TB preva­lence rates and deaths by half, they added. Se­nior med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner at Pakistan In­sti­tute of Med­i­cal Sci­ences (PIMS), Dr Wasim Khawaja, said TB is an in­fec­tious bac­te­rial dis­ease caused by my­cobac­terium tu­ber­cu­lo­sis, which most com­monly af­fects the lungs.

He added the dis­ease is trans­mit­ted from per­son to per­son via droplets from the throat and lungs of peo­ple with the ac­tive res­pi­ra­tory dis­ease. He said in healthy peo­ple, in­fec­tion with my­cobac­terium tu­ber­cu­lo­sis of­ten causes no symp­toms, since the per­son’s im­mune sys­tem acts to wall off the bac­te­ria.

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