Health experts express fears about the alarming TB cases in the country
The Provincial Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program (PTP), Punjab in collaboration with the University of Lahore arranged a seminar held on March 16, 2021 at ULTH Auditorium to mark the World TB Day.
Dr. Haroon Jahangir (DG Health, Punjab) as the chief guest of the seminar assured ULTH all the required support in addressing all the communicable and non-communicable diseases within the region.
The seminar themed as “The clock is ticking” was attended among others by Dr. Muhammad Saeed Akhtar (Program Manager PTP Punjab), Dr. Zahid Pervaiz (Medical Superintendent, ULTH,), Prof. Dr. Mahwish Arooj (Principal UCM), Prof. Dr. Ahsan Waheed Rathore (Head of Pediatrics, ULTH), Prof. Dr. Munir Akhtar Saleemi (Professor/ HoD, UCM), Prof. Dr. Khurum Saleemi (Prof. of Medicine, UCMD) and senior health workers at ULTH.
Prof. Rathore opened the seminar with brief remarks on the Pediatric TB in Pakistan saying, “The cases of TB are increasing day by day at an alarming scale. Childhood TB is a major public health problem in Pakistan especially among the children under the age of 15”. He requested the Provincial TB Program officials to launch special seminars and trainings about childhood TB. He further lauded the Government of Punjab initiative of providing free of cost TB treatment all over the province.
Prof. Saleemi explained the epidemiology of TB in Pakistan and shared the causes and strategies for controlling the disease. “There are several factors that cause high burden of TB in Pakistan including low socio-economic status, poverty: poor housing and hygiene, low literacy and poor compliance”.
Prof. Khurum described the Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) TB, its types and treatment while Dr. Pervaiz (Medical Superintendent, ULTH,) thanked the Provincial TB Control Program team for launching the campaign from the UOL platform. “If we work as a team, we can overcome this disease. TB claims over 40, 0000 lives annually in Pakistan. It is even more dangerous than COVID-19”, he added.
Dr. Akhtar elaborated the Provincial Strategic Plan 2020-2030 on TB which indicated that by the year 2025, death caused by TB would be reduced by 75 percent. He advised the general public to seek medical assistance in case of continuous cough for more than two weeks. “We are providing free of cost diagnostic and treatment services in all over the Punjab”, he said. He pledged all the necessary support to the ULTH in its bid to serving the public especially the non-affording patients.
Later, Prof. Dr. Arooj presented appreciated the efforts of the organizers of seminar and expressed UOL’s commitment to offer high quality education and the best health facilities to the community. She also presented shields to the guests and the organizers an activity that was followed by the cake cutting ceremony.