Curable tuberculosis remains among top 10 deadly disease

Doctors and chemists can be jailed if they don’t report TB

Every year, on an average, 40 people in Bangladesh die of tuberculosis, said officials of the country's National TB Control Programme yesterday, highlighting the urgency of putting more effective efforts into diagnosing and treating the TB patients.

It is apt that the theme for this year's World TB Day, which is observed on 24 March, is "Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free World".

Tuberculosis or TB is an infection caused by a germ named "Mycobacterium tuberculosis". The day is celebrated since 1822 when Dr Robert Koch announced her discovery of the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the doors towards curing and diagnosing the disease. People who are infected with TB don't feel sick, don't have any symptoms and aren't contagious unless and until their infection develops into active TB disease.

Despite some progress, TB remains a serious epidemic in the Kyrgyz Republic with 5,500 new cases, including 1,400 new drug resistant cases, and 400 deaths every year.

Continued training of health care personnel and laboratory staff locally and overseas in newer methods for diagnosing TB, providing TB treatment and care, and other areas of concern at the primary care level in all districts. Most discussion of tuberculosis is focused on adults of working age who are hardest hit by the epidemic in many countries, or young children, who are at the highest risk of severe outcomes. "While TB was earlier easily treatable and was not known for morbidity and mortality, today it has taken a form where we have to collaborate and eradicate TB". Many of these challenges are faced by well-off communities as well making rich and poor equally at risk of TB. Actually, this disease spreads through air.

India retains the dubious distinction of being the TB capital of the world since 2008. Fortunately, a large majority of the infected people have latent infection, which means they are not yet ill with the disease and can not transmit the disease.

To date, the adolescent and young adult age group has been largely ignored in tuberculosis control efforts, which in many countries are nearly entirely focused on treatment rather than prevention.

"One of the biggest barriers to recovery from TB is medication adherence", Bill Thies, senior Researcher at the Microsoft Researcher India, said in a statement.

India has an ambitious plan to end TB in the country by the year 2025.

He noted that while the chest clinics under the DH's Centre for Health Protection (CHP) provide TB patients with free outpatient consultation and treatment, the HA provides inpatient and special investigation services for these patients.

The ministry's notification has also made it mandatory for government health officers to track the notified TB patients by visiting them at home and ensuring that they follow the treatment prescribed to them, The Telegraph reported.

For example, a TB-specific law in Kyrgyzstan allows for involuntary TB-related measures, including testing and treatment, isolation and hospitalization.

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