ISLAMABAD, Jun 11 (APP):The ministry of National Health Services has chalked out a strategy to enhance efforts to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in any form in the country by urging all tobacco manufacturers to print new Pictorial Health Warning (PHW) on cigarette packs.

According to Economic Survey 2019-20 released here Thursday, tobacco use is the cause of death of around 160,100 Pakistanis every year and around 24 million Pakistani adults currently use tobacco in varied forms.

The country’s youth is being targeted with this strategy of implementing PHW so that replacement smokers could be recruited.

Cancer has been considered one of the deadliest types of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), and the number of cases is rising in the country. Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission’s (PAEC) 18 cancer hospitals in four provinces are already providing diagnosis and treatment facilities to cancer patients.

Recently efforts were made to establish the cancer registry at the national level with the support of other stakeholders at the national and provincial levels.

Pakistan has the fifth-highest burden of TB worldwide. The government declared the occurrence of TB a national emergency and implemented the Directly Observed Treatment Strategy (DOTS) that was followed by the Stop TB Strategy.

National TB Control Programme (NTP) has achieved over 85 percent DOTS coverage in the public sector, and in the last five years, the programme has provided care to more than half a million TB patients in Pakistan.

The Programme objectives are to maintain the treatment success rate at 91 percent, to reduce the prevalence of MDR-TB among TB patients by at least 5 percent per year by 2020 and to strengthen programmatic and operational management capacity of the NTP.

National Strategy for Malaria Control is based on the key result-based monitoring element, which includes early diagnosis and prompt treatment, improved detection and response to epidemics, developing viable partnerships with national and international partners, multiple preventions, focused operational research, and national commitment.

This year, the efforts were made to reduce malaria burden by 60 percent in high and moderate endemic districts and eliminate malaria in low endemic districts.