‘Lack of awareness major reason for TB’


LAHORE: Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) on Saturday held a press briefing in connection with the World Tuberculosis Day, observed on every March 24.

Speaking on the occasion, MBBS, MD & FACP Consultant Dr Yasser Hussain said that TB or Tuberculosis was an infectious disease caused by bacteria.

“It is more common in overcrowded places where people live in compromised and closed living conditions such as bad sanitary situations and absence of proper ventilation system. In these conditions, the bacteria easily transforms from one carrier to another. TB is more common in under-developed countries where due to overpopulation, governments are unable to provide proper healthcare facilities to a large number of people. Another major reason for the increasing occurrence of TB is the lack of awareness among masses,” he said.

In response to some questions by the journalists, he explained that there were certain predisposing factors to TB.

“First of all if you suspect someone in your close community and in your daily contact is having any symptom of this disease, do not take it non-seriously. Immediately consult your doctor and get yourself examined. Undergoing the treatment is very important in this matter. The person who has TB becomes non-infectious after two weeks after the start of his treatment procedure.  In efforts to reduce the happening of this disease, early treatment is very significant,” said Yasser.

He said that in recent years, a new concept called Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) had been introduced.

“What used to happen was that patients who are given TB treatment, they were given medication prescription and either they didn’t take the medication or took partial treatment. This result in the spread of disease, as well as the spread of resistance and the organism, became resistant so in DOT, the patient is directly observed by a healthcare visitor to take treatment and this has improved outcomes and has prevented the emergence of resistance,” he added.

Talking about the TVB facilities available at the SKMCH&RC, Dr Yasser said that the hospital had a dedicated infectious disease clinic where TB patients, who may not have cancer, were examined.

“Anyone with TB can come here and seek treatment as we offer almost all medication that is available worldwide for its treatment. We have second-line medication for the treatment of resistant TB as well as the main medications,” he said.