PESHAWAR – The provincial TB Control Programme held an advocacy seminar under the leadership of Minister for Health, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Syed Zahir Shah to commemorate Dr Robert Koch’s discovery of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes TB.
This discovery was the most important milestone towards the control of this deadly disease , speakers said on the occasion. The seminar was attended by representatives of Health Department, National TB Control Programme, tertiary care hospitals of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, parastatal hospitals, heads of health progammes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, donor agencies, implementing partners, community representatives, teachers, students, TB patients and media personnel.
The Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is fully aware of the fact, as the Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ameer Haider Khan Hoti in his message on the World TB Day reiterated that, “TB is one of the major diseases affecting the health of our people. It takes a heavy toll on the health and economy of our province. The present democratic government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is fully sensitised about the health of its people and is committed to thrusting all resources for controlling this killing disease in the province.”
Commending the efforts of the government, Syed Zahir Ali Shah shared that the present government has inaugurated Provincial TB Reference Laboratory at HMC on January 18, 2012. This has created a new era of quality service provision to multi drug resistance TB patients in the province. He further added that TB is a devastating disease and concerted efforts are needed to stop it. He said that initiatives are being taken to assemble all relevant stakeholders and summate the available resources to fight this dreadful disease . He emphasised upon developing public-to-public and public-private partnerships not only at provincial but also at the district level to address TB comprehensively.
Muhammad Ishfaq Khan, the provincial secretary health, informed the audience that new and more rapid methods of diagnosing TB have recently become available and other new technologies are on the horizon.
Speaking of the key achievements made by the programme, Dr Sharif Ahmad Khan, the Director General Helath Services Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shared that Health Department has started TB Control Programme in Khyber Pakhtumhwa since 2002. “Today we have 220 functional diagnostic and 806 treatment centres all over the province. Quality assured anti-TB drugs and diagnostic facilities are provided free of cost all over the province.”
The minister also extended shields of acknowledgement among professionals for their contribution to control TB in the province. He also appreciated the support extended by National TB Control Programme and other related institutions and NGOs for supporting TB patients in the province.