500,000 new TB cases emerge in country annually: experts

admin 01:12 PM, 9 Feb, 2015

KARACHI-As many as 59,520 new Tuberculosis cases were registered throughout the Sindh province in 2014, out of which 29,850 are positive cases detected from different parts of province, said Sindh TB Control Program in-charge Dr Asmat Ara while talking to Medical News the other day.

Dr Asmat Ara said TB is as infectious disease and usually affects adult population of the province. She said about 59,520 new TB cases were registered last year, out of which new positive case were; 29,850 (outcome of these cases will be in January 2016). She said these cases were reported in 266 diagnostic centers and treatment centers are functioning in across the province. She said these centers are providing free of cost treatment facilities to patients infected from TB diseases.

She informed outcome of 2013 TB cases, new positive cases are 24,023 out of which 20,983 patients successfully treated, 1565 patients leave treatment in halfway , 437 are multidrug-resistant cases and 602 died due to TB complications. She said establishment of latest diagnostic centers at local level compelled people to get treatment which was being totally ignored in past due to lack awareness.

She explained that data of TB patients collected by diagnostic centers which was shared to district level centers in meetings then the data provided to Provincial TB Program in inter-district meetings. She said Provincial TB Program shared this data to Central TB Program in meeting of provinces held in Islamabad.

National Program Officer at National TB Control Program (Global Fund) on condition of anonymity said approximately over 500,000 TB cases emerge every year across Pakistan out of which only 300,000 are being reported in various diagnostic centers for treatment. He said 200,000 TB infected people remained in hidden and we are trying to reach all out of reach people who leave in villages and slums areas of the country.

He informed that over 100,000 TB emerges every year in Sindh province out of which 70 percent are reported in diagnostic centers while rest of  infected people remain  unexposed, there is dire need reach all out of reach cases to root out the disease from the country. 

He said an international survey carried out in Pakistan by 17 international organizations in recent past after 24 year gap, which showed that Pakistan successfully reduced the number TB patients as compared to 1990.

He said survey revealed that prevalence of TB disease was 566 per one 100,000 in 1990 and now number of cases were reached 348 on per 100,000.  He said reduction of 218 cases was big achievement and now authorities should focus on reach to out of reach people. He said Pakistan is on number 5th among highest TB burden globally.

He said TB infection generally develops in people with weak immune system. He said urban slums, overcrowding, mass migration of people towards mega cities and lack awareness among the masses about the disease also causes the high ratio TB cases occurrence in the country annually. 



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