Citizens urge for implementing TB control plan

ISLAMABAD: Citizens on Friday urged the management of public sector hospitals for properly implementing the Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) to support tuberculosis patients.According to them, the government allocates sufficient amount to provide DOTS treatment methodology for treatment of TB patients at hospitals however patients face problems due to apathetic attitude of deployed medical staff.They said there is a need to have extensive plan to provide best medical care to tuberculosis patients at government hospitals. They demanded to deploy trained staff with complete knowledge of DOTS methodology at hospitals.According to available data, the incidence of TB per 100,000 population in Pakistan is 181, case notification per 100,000 per year is 150 while the treatment success rate is 85 percent. Pakistan ranks sixth globally among 22 high tuberculosis burden countries, and contributes 43 percent of the disease towards the Eastern-Mediterranean region of World Health Organization (WHO). An estimated one-third of the world’s population is currently infected with TB due to which World Health Organization is working on its plan to cut TB prevalence rates and deaths by half by 2015.When contacted an official said that around 982 microscopy centres have been established across the country to provide free of cost diagnostic facility to tuberculosis patients. He said more than 700,000 tuberculosis patients were treated free of charge while 100 percent coverage of WHO-recommended treatment strategy for detection and cure known as Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course (DOTS) is achieved in the country. He said external quality assurance for sputum microscopy is implemented in 40 districts of the country while five reference laboratories have been established included one at federal level and one each at provincial level. He said training and health education materials have been developed and all health care providers have been trained. Dr Sharif Astori from Federal Government Poly Clinic (FGPC) said TB is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. 

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