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Showing posts with label Sindh Provincial Tuberculosis Control Programme. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sindh Provincial Tuberculosis Control Programme. Show all posts

Monday, May 22, 2017

AKUH teams up with provincial tuberculosis control programme


By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The Sindh Provincial Tuberculosis Control Programme (PTP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) to establish it as a Treatment and Referral centre for patients suffering from tuberculosis (TB).

TB is a contagious disease and an untreated patient can infect up to 15 people over the course of a year. Although treatable, the disease is widespread across Pakistan due to factors including delays in its diagnosis, inappropriate and unsupervised use of medicines and an absence of social support programmes for high risk populations. 

These issues have not only failed to contain the disease but have also lead to the emergence of drug resistant forms of TB, as patients fail to the understand the importance of follow-up doctor visits and continued treatment. 

The TB Treatment and Referral Centre at the AKUH had been established to address this alarming health concern. 

The AKUH has the largest group of Infectious Diseases specialists in the country who will be working in collaboration with the Pharmacy Services at the AKUH, to dispense quality TB medicines. 

The TB Treatment and Referral Centre also plans to educate the public that TB is not a silent disease and can be recognized by its evident symptoms (persistent cough for more than three weeks, low grade fever, coughing up blood, night sweats, loss of appetite and weight and perpetual fatigue) and be treated with antibiotics over a course of 6 months. 

At the ceremony, AKU’s Professor and Service Line Chief, Dr Bushra Jamil commented on the importance of this Centre and said, “The AKUH is delivering high quality care utilizing established best practices for patients of all ages with all forms of tuberculosis according to international standards for tuberculosis care. 

The AKU Mycobacterial Laboratory is the only Supranational Reference Laboratory for TB in the country. The role of National and Provincial TB Control Programs in engaging private institutions through Public Private Mix (PPM) strategy is commendable”. Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that most commonly affects the lungs. 

However, it can also affect any part of the body such as the kidneys, eyes, joints, spine, and brain. TB is a curable disease but can be fatal, if not detected and treated properly. TB poses a major public health challenge in Pakistan. 

In 2015 Pakistan was ranked fifth amongst TB high-burden countries worldwide according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and accounted for 61% of the TB burden in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region.