ISLAMABAD, Nov 25 (APP): Ministry of National Health Services is providing free of cost diagnostic and treatment facilities to over 0.3 million Tuberculosis (TB) patients annually as part of its measures to eradicate the disease from the country.
The ministry is using state-of-the-art diagnostics and ensuring the provision of quality anti-TB drugs at more than 1,700 TB Basic Management Units across Pakistan in the public and private sectors.
In a written reply during question hour in National Assembly here, it was informed that the government has increased allocation to health and TB as recently PC-1 worth Rs. 2 billion is approved.
The steps taken to control TB included strengthening primary health care through Lady Health Workers (LHWs) engagement, enhancing drug resistance TB services coverage through decentralization, larger scale preventive treatment of TB and multi-sectoral engagement through an accountability framework.
The other measures are strengthening of electronic TB surveillance – DHIS2 implementation for case-based surveillance, training of a large number of clinicians, strengthening regular sample transportation from microscopy centres to Xpert sites, engagement of private primary care providers with National TB Control Program (NTP) to 15 per cent and use of digital technologies for TB care using DHIS-2 and active case finding.
It was further informed that the National TB Control Program (NTP) pledges a high level of commitment to implement context-specific interventions to achieve – END TB goals – by 2035 and in line to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 in Pakistan to end TB epidemic.
The country is a signatory to international commitments to END TB through the Moscow declaration 2017 and United Nation High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) in September 2018. Pakistan made progress towards reaching Universal Health Coverage (UHC) through increased integration and multi-sectoral approaches. As the most populous country in the WHO EMRO region, it
continues to account for 70 per cent of TB incidence in the EMRO Region.
In 2021, treatment coverage was 55 per cent % (Global TB Report 2022) and TB incidence was 264 per 1,00,000.