BACK

US, Sindh govt launch $9m initiative to combat tuberculosis in Pakistan

News Desk
Friday, May 24, 2024

US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome and Sindh Minister for Health and Population Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho launched a collaborative initiative aimed at addressing tuberculosis (TB), a significant health challenge in Pakistan, said a statement issued on Thursday.

This joint effort between the United States and Pakistan signifies a crucial step forward in combating this disease. Funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the newly launched programme, named the Tuberculosis Local Organization Network (TB-LON), is an investment of $9 million over five years. Its primary goal is to provide expert guidance and resources for Pakistan to effectively tackle TB.

Through direct engagement with affected communities and individuals, the programme will tailor solutions to meet specific needs. TB-LON will treat more TB cases in Sindh and significantly reduce the number of people affected by the disease.

Ambassador Blome emphasized the strong partnership between the US and the Sindh government stating, “Tuberculosis is not just a disease affecting millions in Pakistan; it’s an illness that disrupts lives, livelihoods, and communities. Pakistan ranks fifth among countries with the highest rate of TB, but I am proud to say, we are changing that with this groundbreaking $9 million initiative that will provide expert guidance and resources to help eradicate TB, exemplifying our constant commitment to the resilient people of Sindh.”

Dr Pechuho expressed appreciation for the ongoing support from the US government and reaffirmed the Sindh government’s commitment to enhancing healthcare services. “We are confident that our joint efforts in addressing critical health challenges will bring a positive change in the lives of people of Sindh,” she added, emphasizing the importance of joint efforts in addressing critical health challenges.

Despite being preventable and treatable, TB remains the world’s leading infectious disease killer, sickening 10.6 million people and taking 1.3 million lives annually and Pakistan ranks fifth amongst high TB burden countries.

USAID leads the US government’s global TB efforts, working with partners around the world including Pakistan, on the shared goals of reaching every person with TB, curing those in need of treatment, and preventing the spread of new infections. USAID prioritizes local community involvement, recognizing its critical role in ensuring sustainable and effective outcomes.