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Lahore

November 21, 2017

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‘Timely diagnosis, medicines can ward off TB’

LAHORE :TB is a curable disease. It is preventable through timely diagnosis and proper medicines. A TB patient can transmit this disease to many people, therefore, everyone should take care of him in this situation.
These views were expressed by the speakers in a seminar, “TB, as a notifiable disease 2017” organised by Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society (MKRMS), Jang Group of Newspapers, Primary and Secondary Health Care Department and Punjab TB Control Programme.
The Punjab government has made centers at many places for diagnosis of TB and they are providing free medicines to people. This disease spreads through a bacterium. Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department is striving to eliminate this disease and the department’s hard work has proved it as notifiable disease, the speakers added.
The seminar was chaired by Khawaja Imran Nazir, Punjab Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Care Department, Dr Saadain, Additional Secretary Health and Bushra Anjum Butt, MPA, were chief guests at the event. Dr Tariq Mian, President Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians, Dr Tariq Aziz, President Pakistan Academy of Family Physicians, Professor Dr Muhammad Ashraf Jamal, President Pulmonology Department, Allama Iqbal Medical College and Jinnah Hospital Lahore, Professor Dr Soulat Ullah Khan, ex-professor of Pulmonology Department, TB and Chest Medicine, Lahore General Hospital, Dr Farzeen Malik, Nutritionist, and Dr Danyal Nagi, Associate Professor of Medicine South Medical KEMU, were guests of honour.
Wasif Nagi, Chairman Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman Memorial Society, Jang Group of Newspapers, hosted the event.
Khawaja Imran Nazir said Pakistan is included in a few countries’ list where TB is found. “It is our own fault if we have to suffer from diseases, because we do not take care of our health. All provinces of Pakistan should make policy regarding health because like Punjab, other provinces are also part of Pakistan and Pakistan is our

beloved country. We have to brighten its’ future. If in two days, TB can be proved notifiable in Punjab then it can be in other provinces too. Every province will have to play its role for this purpose. There is a need to spread awareness among TB patients and their families. Now medicines are delivered on their door steps so that they can complete their medicine course and recover soon. For a TB patient, six months course is necessary. We all will have to work for our better future.”
MPA Bushra Anjum Butt said there is a difference between opinion of people and experts. The Punjab government is taking steps in health sector. When a project in a province gets succeeded then other provinces should also see it as a role model. Moreover, all data is available online through the struggle of PITB that is a great success, she added.
Professor Dr Zarafshan Tahir said proving TB as a notifiable disease is the best thing.
“At present, the best work is done in the health sector that has never done before. Now patients will get free of cost medicines. They will not have to go to hospitals for taking medicines because they will get it at their door step. Moreover, a helpline service is going to be launched in Punjab for the people live in remote areas. Screening of factory workers is also going to be started,” the professor said.
Wasif Nagi said TB is spreading very quickly and the Punjab government is taking significant steps that are appreciable.
The root cause of spreading disease is that we have changed our way of living. We stay awake in night and sleep the whole day. We avoid eating fresh vegetables, fruits and milk. We eat junk food. TB is getting worse because people are unaware of the precautionary measures of this disease. Poverty and unhygienic food are the reasons for the disease, he said.
Zubair Ahmad said about 17 percent of TB cases are such that there is no information about it. There is also no record about mostly cases which ratio is 65 percent and belongs to private sector, telling of facts and figures of 2016 according to which 218,284 cases were notified whereas 46,068 cases were missing. TB consultants are appointed for TB legislation.
Dr Saadain said TB has been controlled to some extent with the help of the government. We are doing our part. But public sector should also move forward and play their role because neither the government can do anything all alone or the public. People who live in remote areas they have lack of awareness. We also will have to think about them, he said.
Professor Dr Soulat Ullah Khan said: “Population is increasing rapidly in our country and patients of this disease are also increasing in numbers. This disease is spreading so rapidly that we can say it a national disease. A TB patient can transmit his germs to about 10 people in a year. Once this disease is diagnosed it should be treated in first place.”
Dr. Danyal Nagi said family physicians also play important role in diagnosing and treating diseases. If TB is not controlled then it can get worse. Dr Tariq Mian said any patient comes to family physician first. TB is eating our country slowly. We all together will have to eliminate it from the roots, he said.
Dr Tariq Aziz said diseases become worse because people avoid taking medicines when they feel a little bit better. They should not do this. There should place charts in every clinic about TB awareness, the stressed.
Dr Farzeen Malik said it is very important to defend the body in order to fight against the diseases. Moreover, screening is very necessary for every person. We should also take care of our diet. We should take fresh fruits, vegetables, milk and meat but should take them balanced. We should do exercise daily because it keeps us healthy; she added. Dr Usman Lodhi said: “We should not take antibiotics more. When a person coughs for more than two weeks then he should consult with a certified doctor. —

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