More than half million people diagnosed with TB in the country

KARACHI: An estimated number of 510,000 patients were diagnosed with Tuberculosis (TB) in the country during 2016.

Experts addressing a session organized at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation Pakistan (SIUT) to commemorate World TB Day 2017, mentioned Pakistan is amongst those 30 countries that share a high Multi drug resistant (MDR) TB burden.

“TB incidence in the country last year was 276/100,000,” they said reiterating need for a comprehensive approach focused on effective management of the disease.

Dr Jawwad, a senior pulmonologist said TB is a preventable disease that can be easily cured and widely controlled through strict compliance to the medication.

“It is a joint responsibility of medical community, care takers of the patients, concerned family members and the patients themselves to see that advised course of medicine is strictly followed,” he said.

The trend to discontinue medication once the patients register improvement in their health status must be strictly curtailed, said the seasoned doctor.

Mentioning that tendency to abruptly stop taking medicine and resuming out of one’s own will as a major cause of MDR, the pulmonologist also referred to associated risks children and other family members of patients may be exposed to due to the trend.

He reiterated that medication must be strictly complied with, under proper supervision of the qualified professional.

Dr. Asma Nasim, an infectious diseases specialist, said TB is an airborne disease, and can be contracted through infected atmosphere.

Symptoms of the disease was said to include persistent cough, fatigue, coughing up blood, chest pain, sweating at night, fever, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

It can effect any organ of the body, said Dr. Sohail Dodani, an expert with vast experience to treat infectious diseases.

Dr. Dodani also mentioned that TB is amongst the 10 most common causes of death worldwide and is one of the major health problems of the developing countries that affects a significant number of population.

TB is an infectious and debilitating disease carrying a high incidence of morbidity and mortality, he said.

The total estimated number of new cases reported annually worldwide were cited to be 10.4 million patients with a mortality rate of estimated 1.4 million patients.

The doctors on the occasion appreciated SIUT for organizing the public awareness session aimed at creating awareness and educating people so that they may better equipped to handle any possible risk of contracting the disease with equal attention towards its control and management.

On the occasion SIUT’s Infectious Diseases Department also provided free medical checkups and consultations coupled with dietary/nutritional advice to the people attending the program.

Educational videos about TB and other infectious diseases were also screened while educational literature on TB was distributed among the visitors and patients.

An interactive workshop about update on diagnosis, treatment and management of TB including MDR TB was also organized in collaboration with College of Family Physicians Karachi.—APP