ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for National Health Services Saira Afzal Tarar said that all resources will be mobilized to fight TB (Tuberculosis) and Pakistan is committed to end TB by 2030 in line SDGs.
While addressing TB World Day Seminar held in Islamabad on Monday, the minister reiterated in the strongest terms that by the grace of Allah Almighty we are equal to the challenge and there has been significant effort made by the federal government with support of the provincial governments to stop TB in the last few years.
Saira Afzal Tarar said that TB Control Program is one of the best performing public health programs in the Country.
The minister said that free TB diagnostic and treatment services are available in more than 1700 public and private sector facilities across Pakistan. She said that in 2016, around 69 percent of the estimated incident TB cases were notified and put on treatment, adding that more than 90 percent of the TB patients notified are successfully treated.
The health minister said that more than 120 advanced diagnostic facilities and 32 specialized treatment facilities have been established across the Country for free of cost early diagnosis and treatment for MDR TB patients. She said that in 2016 alone, 366,000 TB cases were notified and enrolled on treatment.
Furthermore, she said that we have a strong cooperation and partnership with the private sector. She said that today more than 3500 General Practitioners, 125 NGO health centres, 2,000 Pharmacies, 35 private hospitals and 45 Para-statal hospitals in 88 districts are engaged in TB control.
It is noteworthy that private sector is contributing towards 28 percent of total TB case notification in the Country, she said.
The minister said that we are working closely with Pakistan Pediatric Association to control childhood TB in the Country.
The health minister further said that cognizant of the risk of TB-HIV co-infection, 40 Sentinel Sites have been established for screening and early diagnosis of TB-HIV co-infection in geographical areas having documented concentrated HIV epidemics. She said that for MDR TB Pakistan has treatment success rate of 65 percent which is higher than average global success rate.