KARACHI: Provincial TB Control Program Sindh has been facing acute financial crisis since more than one year and program administration has been grave hardship to continue TB activities all over the Sindh province.
World Tuberculosis Day is observed on 24 March each year with aim to raise public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease.
However, Sindh TB Control Program has not received its quarterly budget despite the passage more than a year. The federal government had also stopped funding to province since two years, while Global funds to fight Tuberculosis has also reduced funding from 100 to 20 per cent.
Program Manager, Provincial TB Control Program Sindh Dr Abdul Khaliq Domki, while talking to PPI, said TB control activities have partially distributed across the Sindh province due to shortage of funds. He informed that Sindh government has not released funds to run program since more than a year.
He further informed that out of annual grant of Sindh TB Control Program, only 300 million has released so far. He said TB control activities has badly affected in Sindh but however provision of anti-TB medicines and diagnostic facilities have continued throughout the province free of cost.
Dr Domki said Province of Sindh has tuberculosis (TB) burden of 120,000 new cases every year, of them 60 to 70 per cent of cases are provided with treatment and mostly cured while score of patients are missed and not notified in the health system.
He informed that Sindh TB Control Program had registered more than 74,000 cases across the Sindh province. He further informed tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through air droplets. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings.
About half a million new TB infections occur annually in Pakistan and approximately 1/3rd of incident cases are missed every year and are not registered, majority of them not diagnosed and treated according to national guidelines.