ISLAMABAD, Jan 18 (APP): President Dr Arif Alvi Tuesday stressed upon the continuation of strenuous efforts to efface the debilitating disease of tuberculosis (TB), as the country was at an advantageous edge, gleaned from the valuable experiences in containing the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president said Pakistan was successful in its drive against polio and due to relentless efforts coupled with public awareness, only a single polio case was detected last year.
The president was speaking at an “End TB Summit” organized by Stop TB Partnership, DOPASI and Parliamentary Committee on the National Health Services.
The summit focused on bringing together global expertise through a shared vision to end TB by 2030.
The president said that about 350,000 TB related cases had been detected across the country on a yearly basis which required further collective efforts by all the stakeholders, partners and the civil society.
He said different cases were left untraced due to social taboos which often forced the affected people to conceal their illness.
The president said the main thing in the eradication of this communicable disease was the recognition of TB as a curable disease. The sufferers of this disease should be traced and treated, he stressed.
During Covid-19, the government pursued a policy of contact tracing and gained experience to contain the spread of pathogen.
The summit was attended by provincial ministers, parliamentarians, secretaries, ambassadors, representatives of international and local partners and media.
The president also lauded the role played by the people, ulema and the media during the global pandemic.
He further observed that health and education were critical steps towards the poverty alleviation and cited example of China that had taken 800 million people out of poverty.
The president said Sehat card was a part of the government’s endeavour in this regard.
About the impacts caused by Covid-19, he opined that logistic system throughout the world collapsed, disrupting supply and demand chain which resulted into global price hike of commodities.
The president also appealed to the people to observe the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the face of growing Omicron variant infections in the country.
On the occasion, Parliamentary Secretary on National Health Services, Dr Nosheen Hamid called for continuous efforts to eliminate TB by the year 2030 through the creation of public awareness and eliciting public support.
Faisal Qureshi, a famous TV actor and programme ambassador, also expressed his views to highlight the issue.
Representatives of STOP TB programme and other stakeholders also shared their views.