Around 9000 Afghans die of TB every year

Press Release - Afghanistan Ministry of Public Health

March 24, 2010

On March24th, World Tuberculosis Day was celebrated in Afghanistan. According to a recent report written by WHO, around 9000 Afghans die every year due to affliction with TB (Tuberculosis) in Afghanistan.

At a ceremony of the World TB Day held at the auditorium of Kabul Medical University, Dr Suraya Dalil, Policy and Planning Deputy Minister and Acting Public Health Minister of Afghanistan said that number of TB cases in Afghanistan is still shocking despite aggressive combat against this disease. Based on the recent report obtained from WHO (2009) around 51000 new TB cases are being detected among which 9000 die every year.

33000 of these cases, recently reported are women. That is women make 64% of overall TB clients attending health facilities. Among the 22 countries located in Eastern Mediterranean Region, Afghanistan has had the highest rate of TB cases. Added Dr Dalil, the Acting Minister of Public Health.

In addition, she pointed that totally 26358 TB cases were detected during year 2009 all of whom were covered by National TB Control Program.

Dr Suraya Dalil then added National TB Control Program which was severely damaged by a long term civil war had been resumed not so later than the establishment of Afghanistan Transitional Government. In 2003 the very first strategic plan for TB Control Program was established in cooperation with WHO and some other MoPH partners. In line with MDG (Minimum Development Goals) and STP (Stop TB Partnership), this plan was revised and extended for five more years.

Honorable Guest of the ceremony, Marshal Mohammad Qaseem Fahim, the First Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan addressing the World TB Day also said that some chronic diseases such as TB are predisposed by poverty and social deprivation. And he requested the people to contribute to the fight back against Tuberculosis.

He, afterwards, told that this disease usually affects individuals in various parts of the country, in particular, the remote areas; and the health workers are obliged to work for elimination of the disease. He highlighted the existence of Stop TB Partnership Board in Afghanistan as a positive action towards elimination of this disease. He pointed that the National TB Control Program of the Ministry of Public Health of Afghanistan has made astonishing achievements in combating Tuberculosis.

Meanwhile, Prof. Obaidullah Obaid, chancellor of Kabul Medical University said that TB is a major problem in the world taking lives of thousands of people every year. He also indicated that The Stop TB Partnership Board has worked hard during the past two years so as to stop TB in Afghanistan as well as conducting public awareness programs for Stopping TB.

In end, Mr. Peter, WHO representative in Afghanistan also talked at this ceremony regarding World TB Day and ensured that WHO will remain committed to further support Afghanistan Health and Nutrition Sector.

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