All Citizens’ Screening Essential To End TB In Pakistan: Minister
The theme for World TB Day this year, according to Punjab’s Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare, is “Yes! We can end TB.”
The Punjab’s Minister for Primary and Secondary Healthcare, has stated that screening all citizens is essential to ending TB in Pakistan.
“Among the 30 nations with the highest TB burden in the world, Pakistan is ranked fifth. More than 60% of this burden is carried by Punjab, the province with the highest population. In order to treat and diagnose TB patients without charging them anything, “The Provincial TB Control Office organised a seminar to commemorate World TB Day here on Wednesday, working with WHO and other private partners. The minister of PSHD spoke at the seminar.
Minister said that the department was providing free-of-cost diagnostic and treatment services at the 757 healthcare facilities in the public and private sectors.
A total of 33 tertiary care hospitals, 146 THQ/DHQ hospitals, 306 Rural Health Centres, 32 prisons, and 13 other medical facilities and TB clinics have TB management units established as part of the provincial TB control program. He added that 13 Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant TB (PMDT) sites are active for drug-resistant tuberculosis.
According to Minister, a total of 986,712 people were screened in 2022. The theme for World TB Day this year, according to him, is “Yes! We can end TB.” Every person and organisation needs to contribute to this cause. Investments can also be made with time, expertise, counselling, etc. in addition to financial support.
He was appreciative of the innovative measures being used by the TB Control Programme “to reach the unreached,” such as the use of LHWs for TB presumptive identification and active case finding through partners.
The programme has also engaged doctor’s organisations for improved TB case detection and notification, like the Pakistan Medical Association, the Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians, the Pakistan Pediatric Association, and the Pakistan Chest Society.
Another significant step for the programme towards multi-sectoral collaboration in this regard, he added, is the involvement of prestigious universities like the GC University Lahore, the University of Lahore, the Institute of Public Health, etc.