Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has expressed serious concern on growing number of Tuberculosis (TB) cases across the country.

She said this during her visit to Syed Muhammad Hussain Government TB Sanatorium Samli, Murree on Thursday.

“Every year more than half million new cases of TB were emerging in Pakistan, making Pakistan fifth among B high burden countries worldwide and it accounts for 61 percent of the TB burden in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region,” Dr Yasmin Rashid regretted.

While pointing out a recent report of World Health Organization (WHO), the minister said that it was sad to know that Pakistan also estimated to have the fourth highest prevalence of multi drug-resistant TB globally.

The key reasons for emergence of drug resistance form of TB include; delay in diagnosis, unsupervised, inappropriate and inadequate drug regimes, poor follow up and lack of a social support programme for high risk populations.

Dr Yasmin Rashid stressed upon all factions of society to come ahead for an effective awareness drive to root out Tuberculosis. “TB treatment programme DOTS was a ray of hope for patients, the problem was that patients usually stop using medicines due to which viral gets strong,” she noted.

The minister visited all department of sanatorium and expressed her satisfaction over services provided there.