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December 7, 2018

WHO to help achieve target of eradicating TB by 2030


December 7, 2018

LAHORE: World Health Organization (WHO) will extend full cooperation to Pakistan and all kinds of technical assistance would be provided to Punjab TB Control Programme (PTP) for achieving the target of eradication of TB by 2030. For this purpose, all the departments concerned, institutions, social and corporate sector have to work together with multi-sectoral approach.

These views were expressed at a meeting of World Health Organization (WHO) TB Mission with the Punjab TB Control Programme officials. WHO high level TB Mission from Geneva, Switzerland and Cairo, Egypt is on four days visit to Pakistan to review the steps taken by the local authorities for achieving the target to eradicate TB from the country. WHO delegation was comprised of Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Dr Christian Gunneberg, Dr Rana Hajjeh, Dr Muhammad Akhter (Regional Advisor WHO EMRO) and Dr. Irfan WHO local representative. Addl Director PTP Dr Asif, Dr Usman and development Operation Manager Zubair Ahmad were also present in the meeting. Giving a presentation to the delegation on the arrangements and steps taken for TB control, Provincial Director Dr Zarfishan Tahir said that at present 108 gene expert machines have been installed in the public sector health facilities for diagnosis of tuberculosis and very soon 45 more such machines would be included in the system to complete the target of installation of 170 gene expert machines. She said One Window TB Rooms have been established in 126 hospitals for providing free treatments and test facilitates to the patients under one roof. Moreover, 11 specialised centres have been established in tertiary care hospitals for the treatment of Drug Resistant TB patients (DRT). Dr Zarfishan said that eight BSL II Labs and Bio Safty Lavel III Laboratory have been established in Lahore for performing most complicated tests. She said 700 micro labs are also available in the health facilities in the province. She said LHWs also contributing a lot in searching of missing TB patients in addition to their own duties. Online reporting system installed in the hospitals which called Electronic Medical Reporting System through which reporting, registration and data collection of such patients becomes much easier. This system has been prepared by PITB. The ratio of complete cure of common TB is 92 percent whereas this ratio in MDRT is 63pc. Some patients escaped without completing their treatment of six month and become DRT case. Director PTP informed the WHO TB Mission that on the direction of Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid, HIV tests of TB patients have also been carried out and so far 90,000 registered TB patients have gone through this test.

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