Public urged to work together to fight against tuberculosis

Doctors and chemists can be jailed if they don’t report TB

This year's theme is "Mulika TB, Maliza TB, Ni Jukumu Langu", with focus on early testing and proper care of patients to prevent spread of the disease through adherence and safe health practices.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) Global TB Report 2017, estimated that about 10.4 million people fell ill with TB, resulting in 1.3 million deaths among HIV-negative people, making it the ninth leading cause of death worldwide.

"This disease is deeply rooted in populations where human rights and dignity are limited". People with active TB can infect 10-15 other people through close contact over the course of a year. Over 95 per cent of TB deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries.

The treatment of TB is a long-drawn process. TB has emerged as one of the deadliest communicable disease because it can quickly develop drug resistance.

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Pharmaceutical companies are involved in over 30 partnerships to increase access to TB treatment, diagnosis and care.

Facilities for treating drug-resistant TB have also witnessed a decentralization over time - from six in 2016 to 14 this year.

TB is an infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs. It also highlights that TB can not be transmitted through physical contact such as handshaking, sharing food, touching bed linens or toilet seats or sharing toothbrush. USAID is also working to raise awareness about the disease, reduce social stigma (especially among women), and empower communities to take an active role in the effort through the Government of India's Call to Action for a TB-free India campaign launched in 2015. This plan has recommendations as per the guidelines by World Health Organization and is in line with the requirements of the province for the timely end of TB. This is a contagious disease and spreads via air. The government has made it clear for all pharmacists and chemists to submit the data of TB patients and the medicines prescribed to them and in turn it has also said that pharmacists who notify will receive an incentive of Rs 1000 and doctors who do the same will also be incentivised with Rs 500.

She further stated that the global target to end TB is 2030 but we will end it by 2025. Apart from this, in 2018 Union Budget, Rs 600 crore was provided as nutritional support for the TB patients. "Significant patients present to us with recurrence or relapse of tubercular infection", said Dr Sandeep Nayar, Senior Consultant and HOD, Respiratory Department, BLK Super Speciality Hospital.

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Second, it is critical that we invest in TB research and development.

For more on this, watch a report by Dunya News below.

The new system of providing financial and nutritional support to TB patients lies entirely on Direct Benefit Transfer linked to Aadhaar.

Other officiating guests today included the Chairman of the Hong Kong Tuberculosis, Chest and Heart Diseases Association, Mr Steve Lan, and the HA Director (Quality and Safety), Dr Chung Kin-lai.

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