ISLAMABAD: The Caucus discusses the disruption in TB Care and Case Notification Activities due to the COVID-19 epidemic; health authorities, international agencies vow to support Pakistan in bridging gaps in program efforts to eliminate TB Pakistan is missing nearly 220,000 cases or a third of the new Tuberculosis cases every year. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has cost TB to control a great deal as well. This was stated by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr Nausheen Hamid while launching the first-ever Parliamentary Caucus for Tuberculosis in a partially in-person/virtual meeting organized by DOPASI Foundation in collaboration with the National TB Control Program with the support of Stop TB Partnership. She stated “Today, we will sign a historic declaration that will demonstrate our support and solidarity for efforts to end the TB epidemic,” she asserted. She acknowledged the support of the Stop TB Partnership, DOPASI Foundation, Stop TB Pakistan and the National TB Control Program in launching this caucus that includes a Senator, MNAs from all sides of the National Assembly and a few MPAs. The Parliamentarians included in the Caucus include Senator Dr Mehar Taj Roghani, MNAs Dr. Nisar Ahmad Cheema, Ms Zille Huma, Ms. Uzma Riaz Jadoon, Dr. Shazia Soomro, Dr. Samina Matloob, Prof. Dr. Shahnaz Baloch, Dr. Seemi Bukhari, Dr. Sumaira Shams, Ms. Shunila Ruth and Ms. Nuzhat Pathan and Sindh MPAs Dr Seema Zia and Dr Mukesh. More parliamentarian will be taken on board in the next step to accelerate the efforts. The Executive Director Stop TB Partnership Dr Lucica Ditiu, Dr. Tereza Kasaeva, Director of the Global TB Program, WHO, Ms Cheri Vincent Head of TB in USAID, Dr Syed Karam Shah TB Adviser to the MoNHSR&C, Mr. Tushar Nair from the Global TB Caucus, Dr Thomas Chiang of USAID, Dr Dr Aurangzaib Quadir National Manager, National TB Control Program, Ms Kinz ul Eman, Director Programs, DOPASI Foundation, Dr Ghulam Nabi Kazi, Senior Public Health expert and CEO, Consultants’ Wing DOPASI and Dr Phalitha Mahipala, WR, WHO Pakistan presented during this landmark meeting. All the members of the caucus led by Dr Nausheen Hamid affixed their signatures on the launching declaring the formation of the caucus and reiterated their willingness to work selflessly towards this cause in their respective constituencies.
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