Need to Battle TB in Pakistan

Mirzada Kakar
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the major health problems in Pakistan and the country has fourth highest prevalence of multi drug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) globally.
Installation of GeneXpert Machine at PMDT Site DHQ Hospital Loralai by National TB Control Program is great initiative toward the national cause. Through Genexpert TB-MDR Resistance cases will directly detected.
At PMDT Site DHQ Hospital Loralai TB-MDR cases are treated freely. The program is started by The Indus Hospital funded by Global Fund.
In this Site many poor patients are on treatment and all the medicines are free and social support in terms of food basket through utility stores is also provided to enrolled patients.
Pakistan ranks fifth amongst TB high-burden countries globally. At least 430,000 new TB cases emerged every year and half of them were sputum smear positive. Most of the patients experience treatment failure and default cases become TB-MDR.
Congested living compounded by mass immigration, poverty and poor nutrition was quite challenging in developing countries. These social factors led to spread of tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis was an infectious bacterial disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affected the lungs.
It is transmitted from person to person via air from throat and lungs of the people with an active respiratory disease. In healthy people, infection with mycobacterium tuberculosis often causes no symptoms since the person’s immune system acts to “wall off” the bacteria.
Symptoms of active TB of the lung are coughing, sometimes with sputum or blood, chest pain, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Tuberculosis mostly affects young adults in their most productive years.
However, all age groups are at risk. Over 95pc of cases and deaths are in developing countries. It is treatable with a six-to-nine month course of antibiotics.
Multi drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that does not respond to first-line or standard anti-TB drugs. The primary cause of MDR-TB is inappropriate treatment.
Inappropriate or incorrect use of anti-TB drugs, or use of poor quality medicines, can cause drug resistance in developing countries like Pakistan. Tuberculosis can be activated, if present in the dormant state in the body, by any immune-compromising illness, including cancer.
The MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs. However, second-line treatment options are limited and recommended medicines are not always available. The extensive chemotherapy is required, up to two years of treatment, more costly and can produce severe adverse drug reactions in patients.
People should know that TB is curable provided one is getting proper information, precise drug supervision and support from society.
The mortality rate due to tuberculosis was 72 deaths out of 100,000 in 1990 which had now been reduced to 34 whereas this ratio in other countries was 45.
Pakistan was the fifth among 22 countries where occurrence of tuberculosis was very high. Every year around 4,000 contracted the TB which was alarming.
The Government should plan positive initiatives in term of health care facilities to save the lives of people.
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