A UK-based university will carry out a study in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to ascertain causes of prevalence of tuberculosis in women.
“The Manchester University will complete the survey within one year to give us a clear picture about the causes of tuberculosis in women. The ratio of the disease is higher among women as compared to men in the province,” said Dr Abdul Lateef, project director of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa TB Control Programme, here on Thursday.
He said that they would chalk out strategies to cope with the problem in the light of findings of the study. He was addressing a seminar, held to mark World TB Day.
He said that tuberculosis was affecting more women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as compared to the other three provinces of the country. A scholar was designated by Manchester University to carry out the study, he added.
Last year, the province recorded 35,000 tubercular patients of which 53 per cent were women, he said.
About 220 diagnostic centres and 800 treatment centres for tuberculosis had been made operational in the province to provide free investigative and curative services to patients, he said. The provincial government had approved Rs142million for three years to cope with the disease, he said, adding that international donors were extending full cooperation to them to stem the tide of the ailment.
Dr lateef said that tuberculosis was curable if patients consulted right doctor on right time. The patients with two weeks cough history, chest pain and evening shivers should see doctor to undergo simple X-ray chest or sputum microscopy to exclude tuberculosis as a cause, he said.
During the past nine years, about two per cent of the registered patients had died, he said. The government, he said, planned to start treatment of 50 patients of Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis on experimental basis at Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar.
Addressing the seminar, Dr Akmal Naveed said that tuberculosis didn`t spread through sharing of food, bathroom or towel but it was transmittable through spitting in open places.
He urged patients to cover their mouths with handkerchief while coughing or sneezing. He said that two per cent of the patients had left their treatment incomplete in 2009. In 2010 the percentage of patients leaving their treatment regime halfway was only one per cent, he added.
In the four districts, including Peshawar, Mardan, Nowshera and Charsadda, patients were being provided free tests and treatment facilities in private medical centres under public-private partnership programme, he said.
Health Special Secretary Prof Noorul Iman and National TB Control Programme deputy manager Dr Hussain Hadi also spoke on the occasion.