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WHO to extend cooperation to eradicate TB

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LAHORE: The World Health Organisation (WHO) will extend full cooperation to Pakistan and all types of technical assistance would be provided to the Punjab TB Control Programme (PTP) for achieving the target of eradication of TB by 2030.
For the purpose, all relevant departments, institutions, social and corporate sectors have to work together with the multi-sectoral approach.
These views were expressed during the meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO) TB Mission, which came from Geneva, along with the Punjab TB Control Programme officials.
The WHO TB Mission from Geneva, Switzerland, and Cairo, Egypt is on four days visit to Pakistan to review the steps taken by the local authorities for achieving the target to eradicate TB from the country.
WHO’s delegation consisted of Dr. Tereza Kasaeva, Dr. Christian Gunneberg, Dr. Rana Hajjeh, Dr. Mohammad Akhter, Regional Advisor WHO and Dr. Irfan, WHO’s local representative. Additional Director PTP Dr. Asif, Dr. Usman, and Development Operations Manager Zubair Ahmad were also present.
While giving a detailed presentation to the delegation regarding the arrangements and steps taken for TB control, Provincial Director Dr Zarfishan Tahir said that at present 108 gene expert machines had been installed at the public sector health facilities for diagnosis of tuberculosis and very soon 45 more would be included in the system to complete the target of installation of 170 gene expert machines.
Moreover, 11 specialized centers have been established in tertiary care hospitals for the treatment of drug-resistant TB patients (DRT).
Dr. Zarfishan said that eight BSL II Labs and an Ultra-modern Bio Safety Level III Laboratory has been established in Lahore for performing most complicated tests. She said that 700 micro labs are also available in the health facilities in the province.
She said that LHWs were also contributing a lot to search of missing TB patients in addition to their own duties. Online reporting system installed in the hospitals, called Electronic Medical Reporting System, through which reporting, registration and data collection of such patients becomes much easier.
This system has been prepared by the PITB. The ratio of complete cure of common TB is 92 percent whereas this ratio in MDRT is 63%. Some patients escaped without completing their treatment of six months and became DRT case.
Director PTP informed the WHO TB Mission that on the direction of Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid, HIV tests of TB patients have also been carried out and so far 90,000 registered TB patients have gone through this test.
The WHO mission also called on Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar and held a meeting with Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid. The delegation expressed their satisfaction over the political commitment shown by the high dignitaries towards TB eradication.
The WHO Mission also visited Bio-Safety Level-III Lab. on Birdwood Road and witnessed the latest equipment and the facilities in the laboratory.

 

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Quality healthcare services

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RAWALPINDI: Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulation, and Coordination Amir Mehmood Kiani today said the PTI government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan was taking revolutionary steps for the promotion of health sector.
He expressed these views during a visit to Rawalpindi Cantonment General Hospital here today. The minister said the government was going to start a health insurance programme in the country and it would distribute 25 million Health Insurance Cards (HIC) to the poor and needy people by the beginning of next month.
He said the healthcare system of Pakistan was beset with numerous problems mainly because of the apathy of the
past governments toward the health sector, which was evident from the fact that the previous governments had failed to develop a “National Health Policy” due to which the country miserably failed to meet the health-related targets.
Criticizing the opposition, he said it was not a real opposition and that most political leaders had united to save their financial interests.  He said people would see improvement in all sectors and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government would put the country on the path of development and prosperity.  He said the PTI government brought a considerable change in the health sector adding that four new hospitals were being built in Islamabad to lessen the load on available hospitals.

 

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Diabetes-linked chronic kidney disease cases on rise

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ISLAMABAD: The probability of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in different age groups is increasing in Pakistan due to diabetes, according to a recent research conducted at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).
The annual incidence of new cases of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) was 100 per million population in Pakistan while diabetes was the leading cause of CKD, Nephrologist and Head of Kidney Transplant Unit at PIMS, Dr. Khawar Sultan said on Sunday while sharing details of a cross-sectional study conducted by the Nephrology Department of PIMS.
He said the research also revealed that chronic kidney disease was progressively increasing in South Asian countries like Pakistan, and the reason for it was multifactorial. Most of the people had inadequate knowledge about health-care provision due to lack of health education and, most importantly, the increasing prevalence of risk factors for CKD such as diabetes and hypertension.
In addition, other causes like glomerulonephritis and renal stones were prevalent due to infections and dry weather conditions, Dr Khawar added.
He said a total of 500 patients were considered for final analysis based on data adequacy. The mean age of the population was 46 years, with a minimum age of 20 years and the maximum being 83 years.
The common causes of CKD identified in the patients included diabetic nephropathy 28% (140 patients), glomerulonephritis 22% (110 patients), hypertension 14.6% (73 patients), tubulo-interstitial disease 13.4% (67patients)and renal stone disease 8% (40 patients, he added.
Dr Khawar said the cause was unknown in a significant percentage of patients which was 10.6% ((53 patients). Other causes including post-partum renal failure, constituted 2% of the cases.
He said 268 of the patients were below the age of 50 years. The common etiology of CKD in that age-group included glomerulonephritis (33.2%), diabetic nephropathy (17.9%), tubulointerstitial disease (10%) and renal stone disease (13.8%). The patients who had CKD of unknown cause comprised 12.31%.
Among the 232 patients, who were over 50 years, the causes of CKD were identified as diabetic nephropathy (39.6%), hypertension (19.8%), renal stone disease (12.9%), tubulointerstitial disease (5.6%) and adult polycystic kidney disease (3%). Only 8.6% of patients in this age-group had CKD of unknown etiology.
Dr. Khawar said CKD was a worldwide public health issue, the incidence, and prevalence of which were increasing, resulting in high cost and poor outcomes.
He said nephrology unit at PIMS, which was part of a large tertiary care hospital, catered to a large population in the region. The average population served by the center belonged to a vast area of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu Kashmir, and the Federal Capital.
He said there were a separate dedicated CKD clinic and transplant unit, besides the outpatient department. Daily around 70 patients visited the PIMS dialysis center and received free services, he added.
Dr. Khawar said a sufficient number of paramedical staff, nurses and doctors performed their duties at the dialysis center and Nephrology ward at PIMS.
He said keeping in view the increasing burden of chronic kidney disease in Pakistan, there was a need for aggressive screening to check the presence of kidney disease in the population. He advised the people for early investigation on suspicion of kidney disease.

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Country facing adulterated food problem 

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BAHAWALPUR: Provincial Minister for Food, Sami Ullah Chaudhary Sunday that people had been vulnerable to diseases as they were forced to eat adulterated food sold at markets.
He was addressing a ceremony held in connection with the organization of annual supports and parents days at Danish School in Hasilpur tehsil of Bahawalpur district.  Member Punjab Danish Authority, Colonel. Ghulam Abbas, Principal Danish Boys School, Saeed Ullah Chaudhary, Principal, Danish Girls School, Aaliya Ayyub Chhatha, Admin Officer, Colonel. Ashraf, Assistant Commissioner Hasilpur, Muhammad Tayyab and a large number of parents, teachers, and students attended it. He said that some elements were involved in food adulteration to mint money and to become rich shortly.
He said that such elements were considered as enemies of people as they were damaging their health by selling out sub-standard food. Chaudhary said that food adulteration had been considered as food terrorism and vowed the government would deal with the menace like that it had been dealing with terrorism. He appealed people to point out the elements involved in food adulteration so that immediate action could be taken against them.
He appreciated the role of Danish school system in imparting standard education to children belonging to poor families. “Siblings of poor families including laborers and farmers have been getting standard education and all required facilities at Danish schools at per like that are being provided to others at modern schools,” he said. He said the government had been paying special attention towards the provision of all basic civic amenities to people in education, health, and other sectors.
He said that the national economy had been getting a boost due to sound policies being introduced by the sitting government.  He emphasized the need to introduce the same syllabus at all educational institutions across the country. Delivering their speeches, the principals of both sections including boys and girls of Danish School said that 210 students of Danish School Hasilpur got A and A+ grade in annual examinations of middle-class held under the supervision of Punjab Education Commission. They further said that 100 students of the school got success in matriculation examinations and 99 students out of total 180 appeared in matriculation examinations got A and A+ grade.
They further said that 171 students of Danish School Hasilpur appeared in intermediate examinations and added that out of them, 106 secured A and A+ grade. They said that students of Danish School Hasilpur were also awarded awards, medals, and trophies in curriculum and supports events held at national level. On the occasion, PT and gymnastic show and science exhibition were also organized.

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