In the last two years, 611,000 people have been infected with tuberculosis in Pakistan, while 48,000 HIV-negative and 2,100 HIV-positive people have died due to tuberculosis, but only 55% of the cases have been reported.
Dr Sharaf Ali Shah, Vice Chairman, Stop TB Pakistan said this while talking to the participants of a seminar.
According to a statement issued in this regard, the event was organized by Stop TB Partnership Pakistan in collaboration with centers for disease control (CDC) and Pfizer Pakistan.
Highlighting the reasons for the low number of cases of tuberculosis being reported, Dr Sharaf Ali Shah said that lack of awareness about tuberculosis and its symptoms, poor information about where to get treatment and misconception about the availability of anti-tuberculosis medicines at government health facilities, cost of transportation and loss of daily wages are some of the important factors.
It is worth mentioning that every year the Stop TB Partnership and its partnerships come together to raise public awareness about the health, socially and economically devastating effects of tuberculosis and call for an end to the epidemic.
Highlighting the combined infection of HIV-TB, Dr. Afshan Isani, Provincial TB Advisor CDC Sindh said that both tuberculosis and HIV infections facilitate each other.
He said hiv-infected people are at an increased risk of developing tuberculosis and both diseases are more difficult to treat together.
He said that the number of new cases of HIV is increasing every year, during the year 2022, about 30,000 new cases of HIV were registered in the country.
Dr. Saleem Kazmi, Senior Technical Advisor CDC, said that a lot is being done to implement the global tuberculosis eradication strategy, some recent developments include reducing the treatment period of sensitive tuberculosis to 4 months in some cases and up to 6 months for drug-resistant TB.
It is worth noting that multi-drug resistant tuberculosis increases when patients stop taking medicines without completing the course, making the virus so strong that the cost of treatment increases 10 times.