160,000 unregistered TB patients in Pakistan, Senate told

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Aamer Mehmood Kiani told the Senate that there are 160,000 unregistered Tuberculosis (TB) patients in the Country.

In response to a Senator Mushtaq Ahmed’s question, the minister told the House in a written reply on Thursday that in 2017, 369,000 TB patients were registered and 94 percent were successfully treated.

The health minister said that following steps have been taken by the government to end TB;

  • Provide free of cost diagnostics & Medicines to over a Million TB patients in last three years.
  • Established around 1600 diagnostic & treatment centers in public sector.
  • Operationalize 390 Gene-Xpert machines (latest TB diagnostic tool) across the country.
  • Expand & encourage public – Private partnership in TB control, TB control program has engaged & trained 5000 private providers, 220 NGOs for TB care.
  • Establish 34 centers for free diagnosis treatment of drug resistant TB patients.
  • Reinforce linkages of the program with communities & strengthen referral linkages within health system.
  • Implementation of mandatory TB case notification in Sindh & KP in 2019 & declare TB as notifiable disease all over the country.
  • Implementation of Multi country cross border TB management initiative in 2019.
  • Establish four more PMDT sites in Punjab.
  • Develop strategies to address increasing antimicrobial resistance.
  • Plan to establish Multisectoral collaboration task force at Federal level.
  • Plan to establish inter-ministerial task force for TB in all Provinces.