KARACHI – Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the biggest health problems of the developing countries with a significant population being affected by this infectious and debilitating disease.
Moreover, over nine million new cases are reported annually worldwide with a mortality rate of 1.5 million each year, while in Pakistan more than 0.5m patients were diagnosed with TB in 2015.
These disturbing figures concerning TB were presented by experts in their speeches on the occasion of World TB Day observed at Sindh Institute of Urology & Transplantation Pakistan (SIUT).
Speaking on the occasion, SIUT’s director Prof Adib Rizvi said that the vision of the institution is to create awareness and educate people about diseases such as TB so that they are better equipped to deal with them for an effective outcome and management of the disease.
Quoting latest global TB report 2015, experts belonging to SIUT informed the audience that Pakistan is among those 30 countries of the world that have high TB burden.
“The basic aim of organizing this event is to raise mass awareness about TB in terms of its signs & symptoms, spread, treatment as well as to highlight its preventive measures,” they said, pointing out that though the incidence of TB has considerably decreased in most of the developed countries, it unfortunately remains a major health threat with a substantial burden of disease (BOD) for the underdeveloped nations, including Pakistan.
Voicing concerns over persisting shortage of anti-TB drugs throughout Pakistan, experts urged the government to ensure availability of anti-TB drugs across the country.
Those who spoke on the occasion, included Prof. Sohail Akhtar, Dr. AsmaNasim, Kehkashan Zehra and Dr. Sunil Dodani.
The event was organized by SIUT Infectious Diseases Department for the community with free medical checkups & consultations, dietary/nutritional advices, distribution of educational literature on TB, screening of disease educational videos, exhibition of posters/banners. It was followed by an interactive session between SIUT’s medical staff and the audience.
A large number of people belonging to different walks of life and health care professionals attended the event.