TB: Zero Tolerance
EVERY THREE MINUTES THIS DISEASE KILLS A PERSON
HEALTHCARE BY JAVIDU-SALAM
This part of the world where we live is the land of the people with high degree of tolerance; every three minutes we lose one of our relatives, friends or one with whom we have no acquaintance but who’s death pains us. Every three minutes T.B kills a person and we watch if we are helpless against this menace that is sucking our blood and also robbing us our economic and human resources. We have developed reliable weapons to eliminate this enemy provided we are committed at our levels to take up the weapons and fight it with full might.
T.B is a sort of disease which demands zero tolerance; it is like a fire if left unstopped it will spread. Kashmir is rated among those states of the north zone where 95 people per lakh per year become victims of this disease. Higher case detection of T.B is not threatening because we have a secure cure for T.B and after completion of treatment T.B patients live as normal as any other person without the disease. The task of controlling the disease becomes challenging;
1. When TB patients or those with latent TB ( people who have TB causing bacteria in their body in an inactive state and which can become active any time to cause the illness) are not detected.
2. When the TB patients stop treatment before completion and develop resistance.
A single sputum positive person has the potential to infect up to15 people. The potency of infecting the other people decreases in patients after 15 days of taking anti T.B medicine.
RNTCP- Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme with DOTS - Directly Observed Treatment Short Course as its heart is in second phase now. The Programme aims at curing at least 85% of new sputum positive T.B patients and detecting at least 70% such patients. DOTS is sure cure for the T.B and it has a magical effect when taken in consultation with a trained doctor under direct supervision of a health worker or a volunteer. The department of health is extending the DOTS services free of cost to every district and from districts to every health centre where new cases after detection are registered for treatment. The department is making extra efforts to stop this threat but alone it cannot achieve the set targets and T.B will continue to pose a threat to our lives and will hound our homes to cause agony, pain and suffering unless we involve ourselves individually and collectively in the efforts to stop this dreadful disease.
Under this background the participation of three p’s- patient, provider and people- as envisioned in the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme assumes significance. People, the common men are most important and significant, they can make a difference if they aware themselves about different aspects of the T.B and spread the same to others. They can demand the information which includes basic information about basics of DOTS from the nearest designated health institutions. Awareness is a step towards stopping this disease and creating an environment where hidden cases can come forward for treatment. People also include men who wield influence such as NGOS, Teachers, and Religious and Political leaders. These people have a following and their word is taking seriously; they can spread awareness, provide policy and moral support to the programme. Patients are responsible to complete the treatment under the supervision of a trained DOT provider, and the doctors accountable for referring the suspects (persons having cough for two or more weeks) to the nearest microscopic centre where two samples of his sputum are examined and in case the person is positive he is referred for treatment at the DOTS centre convenient to the patient. All the three participants must understand their responsibilities and come closer together. T.B is a disease that shouldn’t be hidden, it must be treated and for that all the three must take active participation.
We have to commit ourselves to eliminate the contagious disease for that we have to strengthen the triangle of three p’s. Patient, provider and people participation is very essential, strengthening of this relationship will weaken the might of the tiny bacteria, (Mycobacterium Tuberculosis) that has been engaging us for decades. Activating interpersonal channels and utilizing traditional forms of communication can help to reach to the hard to reach groups of people and galvanize the momentum of stopping the infectious disease.
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 20 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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