Dhaka, Bangladesh
TB on the rise

TB on the rise

Health experts at a discussion put importance on creating social awareness in detecting tuberculosis (TB) patients to bring them under free treatment facilities to eradicate the curable disease from the country, according to a report in this newspaper yesterday. Despite achieving a remarkable success in detection and treatment of tuberculosis, the health experts said that the disease is still a major public health problem in Bangladesh. Chest specialists say there are at least five TB patients in an assembly of 100 people. That is one in every 20 people is suffering from TB. So, there is no room for expressing complacency regarding the state of TB disease in the country. TB is no respecter of persons as it may attack any person at any time irrespective of poor or rich, old or child, male or female, black or white. There was a time when the very name of TB would create panic among people and those suffering from this dreadful disease would be treated like pariahs in society. A TB patient in a family was the cause of extreme concern for the entire family. People would avoid the proximity of such a patient. A person from rural area suffering from TB would be scared of undergoing an x-ray. He or she would think that his or her days are numbered. The people have overcome those age-old superstition and ignorance greatly and have become more practical. Nowadays a person does not feel uneasy to undergo a number of medical tests required for proper diagnosis of the disease. TB is no more a fatal disease and a person does not require rich foods, complete rest (except in some serious conditions), hospitalization or go to sanatorium by the sea shore or on the hill top for curing TB. Taking drugs continuously in right dose for a certain period of time as advised by the physician may cure the disease. What is needed is the proper treatment after early detection of the disease. Conducting quick cough test of tuberculosis patients, taking preventive vaccines and full course intake of essential medicines without interruption can help eradicate this curable disease from the country. The relevant authorities should strengthen the TB control programme. Massive awareness should be generated among the people so that the people suffering from the disease may undergo treatment at the state-run TB hospitals and clinics.

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