Number of TB patients in Pakistan has increased to 580,000, Senate told

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Senate has been informed that the incidence of Tuberculosis (TB) in Pakistan is decreasing by 1.5% per year but due to an increase in the Country’s population, according to new census 2017, the estimated total number of patients has increased to 580,000.

The Minister for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination told the House to a question by Senator Bahramand Khan Tangi that TB Control Programme Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has registered 43603 TB patients for free of cost treatment with 95% treatment success rate from January to December 2018.

The minister informed that collecting of data of 2019 is still in progress which will be available in January 2020.

In addition, the minister told that the government has taken various initiatives to address both the drug sensitive & drug resistant TB, which are mentioned below:

(i) Drug Sensitive TB:

– Country wide network of more than 1500 Basic Management Units are providing Free TB diagnosis and treatment services.

– NTP notified and treated 369,000 cases in 2017

– Treatment success rate of 94% (2016 Cohort)

(ii) Private sector involvement under PPM (Public Private Mix) initiative has been ensured. It includes more than 5000 GPs, 450 Pvt Labs, 220 NGO networks, 70 private hospitals and 70 parastatal hospitals including armed forces. In 2016, 32 % of national TB notification is contributed by PPM.

(iii) TB /HIV: 40 TB /HIV sentinel sites are working in the Country.

(iv) Programmatic Management of Drug Resistant TB:

– Free of cost diagnosis and treatment services for MDR TB patients at 33 PMDT sites.

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3081 Drug resistant TB cases were enrolled and provided treatment in 2017.

– The treatment success rate for MDR/RR TB cases started on second line treatment in 2015 is 64%.

– 280 Xpert machines for rapid diagnosis of MDR-TB cases.

NTP plan to increase the number to 400 by 2019.

– Laboratory network of 15 culture and 07 Drug Susceptibility Testing labs in the Country.

– Initiation of New Drugs for DR TB, Starting Shorter Treatment regimen.

(v) National strategic Plan for TB (2017­2020) has been developed and aligned with WHO End TB strategy

(vi) TB management Information system: TB aggregate data (2011-2016) has been uploaded on DHIS-2 platform. DHIS2 business plan is supported by GF, WHO & University of Oslo.

(vii) Ware House Management Information System (WMIS) and Drug Management Information System (DMIS) in place.

(viii) TB Legislation: Mandatory TB Notification bill has been passed by three Provincial assemblies and bylaws have been developed, the pilot will be initiated in 2nd Quarter of 2019.

(ix) TB Awareness through print and electronic media, commemoration of World TB days on 24 March every year.

(x) Research in TB: Capacity building in research through workshops organized by TB control program. 40 TB publications in national and international journals.