10,831 Confirmed New TB Cases Reported in 35 districts in February 2011

ISLAMABAD, May 26, 2011: As many as 10,831 new cases of tuberculosis reported at state-run healthcare facilities in 35 districts across Pakistan during February 2011 is a cause of serious concern for the government particularly in the Punjab province that accounted for 86% of the reported cases in 18 districts. According to FAFEN’s monthly Health Scan, the number of confirmed cases of TB reported in February 2011 is double than the 4,910 cases of the disease reported a month earlier in 37 districts.

FAFEN Monitors collected the data of disease cases from district health offices in 64 districts for February 2011. Executive District Officer (EDO)/Health offices in 24 districts of Punjab, 18 districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 13 districts in Sindh and seven districts in Balochistan, as well as the office of the Agency Surgeon Health (ASH) in FR Peshawar, and that of the office of Health Management Information System (HMIS) in ICT shared the requested information with FAFEN Monitors.

Incidence of malaria decreased in February as compared to the preceding month, but it continued to be the most-recorded disease. Malaria constituted 92% of the total 80,367 reported cases of viral diseases in the country in February 2011. This means that overall cases of viral diseases can be significantly reduced if malaria is controlled.  Although a reprieve can be expected due to the extreme heat of the coming summer months in many parts of the country, preventive measures such as mosquito nets, repellants, and insecticides should still be used to keep it at bay. Malaria was most notable in February 2011 in Sindh, where 13 districts reported 57% of all malaria cases recorded nationwide.

The number of reported cases of probable poliomyelitis has also jumped from the previous month. The disease has been reported in monitored districts of Punjab for the first time since November 2010. A total of 47 cases of probable poliomyelitis were reported – 37 in Khushab and eight in DG Khan districts of Punjab, and two in Umerkot district of Sindh.

The most commonly observed diseases in the country were also those whose transmission is aided by particular conditions of environment and hygiene, such as TB and malaria. In line with trends observed in previous months, acute respiratory infections (ARIs) were the most reported set of diseases, making 63% of all reported cases of disease followed by diarrhea and dysentery taken together (12%), scabies (11%), malaria (5%) and gastroenteritis (4%).

About FAFEN:

FAFEN is a network of 44 civil society organizations working to foster democratic accountabilities in Pakistan. It is governed by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability.