Pakistan Anti TB Association (PATA) is a community based non-profit and non-government organization working exclusively for treatment, rehabilitation and welfare of TB patients across Pakistan. PATA has national & international references, and is member of International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union), and South East Asian Region (SEAR) of The Union.
PATA was established as a chest clinic in Lahore, in 1956 by a group of cured TB patients. It was formally launched and inaugurated by Pakistan’s Mother of the Nation, Miss Fatima Jinnah, the sister of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Over the years, the organization has grown into a network of 68 District and Tehsil Anti TB Associations, operating under the umbrella of PATA. All these Member Associations are functioning, and providing free services to TB patients.
The first inaugural meeting of PATA was held on 25th September 1955 at the residence of Mr. Saeed-ur-Rehman, a cured TB patient, in Lahore. The house unanimously elected Dr. Riaz Ali Shah its first president. Doctors and leading social figures like Dr. A.H. Anwar, Mrs. C. Taseer, Mr. Khadim Hussain Butt, Mian Fazal-e-Ahmed, Begum G.A. Khan, Begum Zari Sarfraz, Sh. Niaz Ahmed, Ms. Riffat Rashid and many others joined the association. The very fact that government alone could not fight the menace of TB, served the basis for the establishment of PATA, and the need for volunteers. Mohtarama Fatima Jinnah, graciously accepted to become its Patron-in-Chief. Her first message was “Tuberculosis is the greatest problem undermining the health and wealth of our nation. Make the campaign against tuberculosis, a national war and rid Pakistan of this scourge. Obstacles in our way must be crossed and the difficulties overcome.” With the message she also donated Rs. 15,000/-.
Sardar Abdul Hameed Dasti, Health Minister West Pakistan became the patron of the association. A convention was held under the president ship of Sardar Abdul Hameed Dasti at University Hall, Lahore on 12th April 1956. Dr. Riaz Ali Shah, Begum A. G Khan and Begum Khadija Feroz-ud-Din and others joined in for the noble cause. The name of association was changed to “West Pakistan TB Association” during its second annual conference. The first executive committee of the association consisted of 17 members. Amongst these, there were 3 doctors, 5 distinguished persons from different walks of life and 9 cured TB patients of which Mr. Muhammad Akbar Khokhar is still active and alive and is running an independent chapter of PATA as District Anti TB Association, Lahore.
The primary aims and objectives of PATA were drafted in 1955, to fight the menace of TB in a resource constrained environment. Initially, the members used to hold meetings in the lawn of the Mayo Hospital, Lahore. Later on, Col. Elahi Bakhsh, Principal, King Edward Medical College, Lahore was pleased to provide the Professors’ room to hold meetings. Later on, Workers of the association acquired a plot for association in the Main Market Gulberg II Lahore and a building was raised. The West Pakistan Association which was born at Lahore, opened its branches in almost every district of the country. For instance, a branch started at Faisalabad (then Lyallpur) under the president ship of Mian Fazal-e-Ahmed. Another branch was established in Peshawar NWFP and Begum Zari Sarfraz was the president. In 1959, this movement also reached East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
Presently, PATA has an established country wide network of 68 TB Diagnostic and Treatment Centers in various districts across Pakistan, equipped with trained staff, providing free TB treatment facilities; 10,000 volunteer members. It is playing a pivotal complementary role for the National TB Control Program in scaling up the fight against TB to achieve its vision “Pakistan a country free of burden of TB”.
PATA TB Treatment Centers are owned by the PATA’s affiliate District and Tehsil Anti TB Associations. These district and Tehsil associations have membership from their local communities; elected bodies from the communities, as volunteers; and management. The local management takes care of the day to day business of treatment centers; resource mobilization and generation; and oversees the service delivery for Tuberculosis.
PATA has a rich history of TB programming; working for the eradication of TB in Pakistan; community mobilization to empower and increase access of marginalized communities to quality and affordable healthcare; Reducing barriers and improving access to quality TB treatment for all, especially focused on marginalized and disempowered communities with financial constraints. Over the years, PATA has implemented programs for the eradication of Tuberculosis in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan and International NGOs.
PATA organized international conferences in 1988, 1993, 1995 and 1999 under the auspices of The Union (ER) and with the cooperation of Pakistan Chest Foundation and Govt. of Pakistan. Through this, PATA enabled medical professionals to stay abreast with the latest knowledge.
Profile of PATA and its president was published in the annual report of the Union in 2005 as PATA organized international TB conferences under the auspices of The Union (Eastern Region), Chest Society of Pakistan and National TB Control Program, Govt. of Pakistan in Lahore, attended by 1100 local and international delegates.
2007, PATA organized International master training ACSM workshop with the cooperation of The Union SEAR and built capacities of professionals from the South East Asia Region countries for Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilization activities.
During the GF round-2 project, PATA worked as a Sub Recipient from September 2003 to March 2008, coverage to 18 million populations, with grant a total of US$ 884,154. The main objective of the project was Directly Observed Treatment Shortcourse (DOTS) expansion through quality health services providers with a target of 22,000 New Sputum Smear positive (NSS+) TB cases with a success rate 95%. PATA achieved all its targets; registered 28,422 NSS+ patients with 95% success rate.
PATA was SUB Recipient for 18 months in Round-6 of GF for Advocacy Community Social Mobilization (ACSM)Project. Main objectives of this activity were to empower people for enhancement of TB case detection and taking the ownership of TB patients. Communities were mobilized through; conducting community events; community advocates orientations; Journalists trainings; collusion groups established; community health worker’s mobilization; and quality assurance workshops conducted for health care providers.
Currently, PATA is partnering with National and Provincial TB Programs of Pakistan for a GFATM grant since 2016, the grant focuses on TB service delivery under Public Private Mix and NGO Model. On average, PATA has been contributing around 20,000 new TB cases to the national database every year. This contribution has been by far the largest contribution by any national NGO.
PATA celebrates world TB day with enthusiasm and devotion in partnership with all its member associations. In 2009, PATA organized Million Youth March on world TB Day, in partnership with GFATM.
During the last 60 years, PATA has also been undertaking Health Education in educational institution, mobilizing communities in Pakistan through electronic and print media. PATA has a highly dedicated technical and management team available to implement its mission and objectives to serve the marginalized and disempowered communities and TB patients.
PATA president Chaudhary Muhammad Nawaz is a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union), Chairperson of South East Asia Region for current term, and was the last president of The Union – Eastern Region for 2 years.