KARACHI – Voicing concern over increasing cases of tuberculosis in the country, health expert Dr Abdul Baqi attributed it to lack of awareness about the disease in the society.
Dr Baqi, who is associated with Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center’s (JPMC) department of chest diseases, said that though the TB is a potentially deadly disease, it’s a curable and as such awareness was the key to prevent people from the disease.
He was speaking on the occasion the World Tuberculosis Day observed globally on March 24 to create public awareness about the disease and the efforts being made to eliminate the disease from across the world.
He deplored that efforts to eradicate TB usually did not bear fruit when people suffering from the disease leave the treatment halfway.
SYMPTOMS: He said that symptoms of tuberculosis include cough, fever, weight loss and fatigue, while the TB infection generally develops in people with weak immune system.
Underscoring the need for launching TB awareness campaign on a mass scale across the country, he urged the people to take preventive measures so that they might not become victim of the disease.
Quoting figures from the National TB Control Programme (Global Fund), he said that though over 500,000 TB cases emerge every year across Pakistan, only 300,000 were being reported at various diagnostic centres, while around 200,000 TB-infected people remain hidden.
Of over 100,000 TB cases which surface in Sindh, annually, 70 per cent of them are reported in diagnostic centres whereas remaining infected people go unreported, he added.