22.03.2012: World TB Day: Stop TB in my lifetime
Kanduri Charan Nath is76 and lives in Odisha, India. When he was ill with TB Kanduri couldn’t even get out of bed on some days – now he can easily cover 50 to 60 kilometres on his bike. Kanduri attends the regular TB meetings arranged by LEPRA, held in the villages near his home. Here he shares his experience with other people.
“If nothing had been done by LEPRA” he told us, “I would have died.”
The project that Kanduri is involved with was set up to improve TB diagnosis and cure in Odisha, India. Dr Jyotsna Mohapatra who heads up the project for LEPRA says, “It’s 35km to the nearest TB testing centre, most people can’t travel there, they are too poor.”
To improve this situation, the project uses community meetings to raise awareness of the signs, symptoms and treatment for TB. Health workers and volunteers are trained to collect and transport sputum samples to the nearest testing centre for TB diagnosis.
Open TB meetings like the ones Kanduri attends are a place for people to find out more about TB and voice any concerns they have. At the forum where we met Kanduri one of the questions asked was “Where do we get the medicine from?” The process of Directly Observed Treatment was explained. This is where a trained health worker or volunteer monitors daily pill taking for TB patients.
- TB is treated by a six month drug regime administered with support and supervision by a trained person
- Interrupted or incorrect treatment is causing drug resistant strains of TB to evolve
- One quarter of these cases are in India and are on the increase
Drug resistant TB why prevention is better than cure:
- Drug resistant TB is difficult to cure, treatment options are limited and medicines are not always available
- These strains can be diagnosed in only a few laboratories
- It costs over 100 times more expensive to treat drug resistant TB than common TB
What is LEPRA doing about it:
- LEPRA educates people about TB and where to go for help
- Training health staff and volunteers to monitor TB treatment prevents drug resistant TB
- LEPRA connects communities with life–saving TB diagnostic and treatment services
- LEPRA improves HIV and TB referrals to reduce the number of deaths from TB
- LEPRA saves lives by providing testing facilities for drug resistant TB
Posted by admin 15:54 22.03.2012
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