LAHORE : Tuberculosis (TB) is spreading rapidly in the third world countries including Pakistan due to a number of factors, though it has now become a curable disease.
Post-graduate Medical Institute (PGMI) & Ameer-Uddin Medical College Principal Prof Dr Sardar Al-Fareed Zafar expressed these views at a seminar on tuberculosis outbreak, timely treatment, diagnosis and reduction of mortality rate, organised by the Department of Pulmonology on Saturday.
He said that with the advancement of medical science, modern research, timely diagnosis and availability of effective medicines TB was completed curable.
He said that a large number of patients with this disease leave the treatment incomplete instead of finishing it due to its lengthy period which makes the disease drug resistant. He said that it was a matter of great concern that more than 400,000 patients were suffering from tuberculosis in Pakistan every year. He added that as long as there was a single TB patient exists in the world, the chances of the disease spreading would remain alarming.
Professor Al-freed Zafar said that millions of rupees were required for the treatment of drug resistant TB and the common man was unable to afford its expenses. He said that the government had allocated ample funds for free diagnostic facilities and medicines in government hospitals for the treatment of tuberculosis and it was need of the hour that philanthropists come forward and take part in this ‘Jihad’.
LGH MS Dr Khalid Bin Aslam said on the occasion that LGH has modern machinery and equipment for diagnosis including outdoor medical examination facility from Monday to Saturday.
Other medical experts said while addressing the seminar that it is a contagious disease, which affects the people living in the surrounding environment and family by coughing, sputum, mucus, etc. on the floor and in open spaces. This practice can spread the disease to about 10 healthy people, which requires serious efforts to prevent and launch a public awareness campaign for prevention of TB.
They said that about 34 out of every 100,000 TB patients die every year. They said that tuberculosis in children is different in symptoms as compared to adults, adding that children become lethargic, bored and irritable which needs immediate attention.
Later while talking to media, the principal PGMI said that people should abstain from smoking, alcohol, betel and “gutka” etc. and patients suffering from tuberculosis should complete their course of treatment as per the instructions of the physician so that complete recovery can be achieved.
He said that instead of considering TB as a social evil, the patient should be treated and encouraged, as the job of doctors is not only to treat the patient but also to educate them for which they have to fulfill their responsibilities.
He said that people living in slums and backward areas, dark, small rooms and houses in large numbers in the suburbs of cities are easy targets for TB because in such places the patient coughs and sneezes and the germs remain present in the atmosphere which affects the people sitting nearby so we should live in bright and airy houses.
Head of the Pulmonology department LGH Dr Javed Magsi, Associate Professor Dr Irfan Malik, Assistant Professor Dr Huma Batool, Dr Naeem Akhtar, Dr Aftab Anwar and Dr Umar Cheema discussed the different types, complications, precautions and modernisation of TB disease.
Young doctors, nurses and paramedics also attended the seminar.