Dawn News

PESHAWAR, March 17: Health authorities said on Thursday that the new Directly Observed Treatment Short (DOTS) course for Tuberculosis (TB) patients, currently initiated in Peshawar only, would be launched in all other districts from July 1st, 2011.

Earlier, the TB treatment course took 8 months, while under the DOTS, the treatment would take only six months, said Dr Abdul Latif, Project Director TB Control Programme, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while speaking at a seminar held in connection with the World TB Day to be observed on March 24.

Dr Latif said with the availability of drugs regarding TB treatment, the six months DOTS programme would also be launched in rest of the districts of the province. He informed that 220 basic management units and 806 functional treatment centres were rendering services to address TB treatment process in the province. The newly formed district of Torghar was yet to be included and facilitated with the TB diagnostic and treatment centres, he added.

Dr Latif said that Electronic Recording and Reporting System (ERS) was started for the first time in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, adding, free of cost sputum microscopy services were available in all basic health units (BHUs). He maintained that 35,415 TB cases with the detection rate of 77 per cent (positive cases) and 85 per cent overall cases were registered during 2010 in the province. The WHO target was 70 per cent for case detection, he further added, saying, likewise, treatment success rate of TB was 95 per cent as against the WHO target of 85 per cent.

He said currently contribution of private health sector engaged in Peshawar, Nowshera, Charsadda and Mardan regarding TB treatment process was 16 per cent, adding, an MoU will be signed with the private sector to enhance their role in rest of the districts.

Dr Latif said that male and female ratio of TB case detection was 43 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively, adding, in rest of the country male detection ratio was higher than that of female patients, which was otherwise in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He maintained that a study would be conducted to know the reason of such phenomenon.

He said that coordination between TB and HIV programmes had been strengthened and refurbishment of peripheral laboratories was continuing.

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