Around 0.3 million Pakistanis affected by TB each year


Around 0.3 million people are affected by tuberculosis (TB) in Pakistan each year, 50,000 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa alone, and Pakistan stands number six amongst the TB-affected countries. “TB is curable disease with proper treatment of six to eight months that the government provides free of cost to every person,” said speakers at a press conference at Peshawar Press Club in connection with the World TB Day (March 24). Those who spoke on included Dr Akmal Naveed, director of Association for Community Development, Dr Abdul Latif, senior officer of National TB Control Programme, Dr Shamsul Mulk, director general of Rescue 1122 KP and Kherul Basher.
Dr Abdul Latif said if a person felt constant cough, temperature and phlegm for two weeks, he should get himself checked for the disease at a diagnosis centre, saying there were 806 treatment centres and 220 diagnosis centers working in KP province to curb the disease from spreading further. “A patient who has TB carried germs in the spit and if not treated, he can convert the germs to 10 to 15 other healthy persons a year,” he said, adding that the disease was not converted to other people through sharing food or drink. He said if a person began to cure the disease but left the treatment without completing its doses or starts treatment from unskilled doctors, the disease took shape of multi-drug resistance, which was a dangerous form of the disease. He said the government had spent much on the TB Control Programme and provided free of cost medicine to patient and created awareness among the masses about the disease. The speakers said the aim of observing World TB Day was to create awareness and to convey a message to the people about the disease.