ISLAMABAD: Over 44,000 people die of tuberculosis (TB) in Pakistan every year, making it the fifth country on the list of TB high-burden nations.

Besides, out of the over 600,000 cases that emerge, 27,000 turn out to be resistant to drugs.

This was highlighted in a statement issued by the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS).

In order to raise awareness and conduct advocacy campaign for TB control, prevention and elimination through the involvement of the government, media and civil society, a summit is being organised by the ministry on Tuesday (tomorrow) at Aiwan-i-Sadr.

The event, being organised in collaboration with the Dopasi Foundation and Health Services Academy, is in continuation of the TB summit held on April 3, 2019 during which President Dr Arif Alvi had pledged to make Pakistan TB-free by 2030. In the upcoming event, progress made towards this end will be evaluated.

Participants will also celebrate award of the Kochon Prize 2021 given to Pakistan for its efforts towards eliminating TB from the country. This prize is awarded annually by the Stop TB Partnership Geneva to individuals or organisations that have made a significant contribution towards combating the disease.

In 2021, the Dopasi Foundation Pakistan was the only recipient of this prize after competing with thousands of similar organisations worldwide.

The summit will be hosted by Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr Nausheen Hamid, who is also heading the End-TB Parliamentary Caucus. The caucus has recently joined hands with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) Task Force headed by MNA Riaz Fatyana for collective efforts towards better outcomes.

Federal and provincial ministers, parliamentarians, diplomats, policymakers, senior health professionals, health development partners and representatives of civil society are expected to attend the summit.

Published in Dawn, January 17th, 2022

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