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KARACHI: “Enhancing TB-HIV collaboration in private sector is critical to combat both diseases in Pakistan. Pakistan ranks fifth amongst 30 high-burden tuberculosis (TB) countries in the world with an estimated 573,000 new TB cases each year. The HIV prevalence among the general population is estimated to be less than 0.2 percent, with about 200,000 people living with HIV in the country. The problem of HIV becomes graver when seen in the context of TB-HIV co-infection because of increased mortality and morbidity among the sufferers of both diseases”.

This was highlighted by Bashir Khetran, National Coordinator, Common Management Unit, in the International Consultative Event on enhancing TB-HIV collaboration in the private sector held here in Islamabad on Thursday. He added that Government of Pakistan is committed in strengthening the TB-HIV collaboration which is also part of the end TB strategy. A coordination committee for collaborative TB/HIV activities also operated at national level in Pakistan that provides a general policy on TB-HIV collaborative activities.

The event was organized by Mercy Corps in collaboration with Common Management Unit managing all the three diseases TB, AIDS and Malaria. Dr Farah Naureen, Country Director, Mercy Corps said that we have large scale interventions in place, and growing to end TB in Pakistan, excellent partnerships in both public and private sectors to meet the needs of the affected population.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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