Lahore : World Health Organization (WHO) Mission Delegation Headed by Ms. Philippa Easterbrook from Geneva along with members from EMRO Region and local representatives visited the Offices of Punjab TB Control Program(PTP) here today and attended a meeting in which Provincial Director PTP Dr. Zarfishan Tahir and her team briefed the delegation about the steps being taken for controlling spread of the disease, diagnostics and treatment facilities for the TB patients in the province.
National Program Officer(NPO) for HIV/Hepatitis Dr. Safder Pasha, WHO Lahore rep Dr. Irfan, Additional Director PTP Dr. Asif, Partnership Operation Manager Zubair Ahmed Shad, Dr. Javeria and other officials attended the meeting.
Director PTP Dr. Zarfishan Tahir informed the WHO’s Mission that the services of Lady Health Workers (LHWs) are also taken for searching the missing tuberculosis patients. During their routine door to door visits, LHWs also observe any family member living with fever or cough for a couple of weeks and they take sputum samples of such suspected TB patient and send these samples to the quarter concerned for Lab. tests, She added.
Dr. Zarfishan further said that this strategy is very successful for surfacing the missing TB patients.
She informed that Punjab TB control Program has established Bio safety Level III Laboratory (BSL-III) for all complicated tests of TB patients.
Moreover, HIV/AIDS test are also being conducted for which Punjab AIDS Control Program has provided kits and so far more than 80 thousands registered TB patients gone through these tests.
She informed that as per directions of the Provincial Government , all the diagnostic and treatment facilities are being provided to all the TB patients including Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) patients free of cost.
She disclosed that treatment of MDR patients is very costly and upto one million rupees may spend on one such patient. She said that Gene Expert Machines have also been provided at the Health Facilities.
She said that PTP is very successfully being run due to that unregistered and missing TB patients are being registered. She informed that more than two lakh new TB patients are reported annually.
She informed the delegation that PTP is also conducting TB tests of Industrial workers, jail inmates, Madrasa students with collaboration of Chambers, Auqaf department and Prisons department and all the facilities are provided free of cost.
WHO Mission Delegation appreciated the setting up of BSLIII, Laboratory and lauded the services of LHWs for searching of missing TB patients. The delegation also praised the initiative taken by the PTP for TB tests of Industrial workers and other vulnerable segments of the society.
The WHO mission stressed the need of Integrated program and efforts for diagnoses of different diseases like hepatitis, HIV virus etc.