How missed calls are saving lives of TB patients in India


Kyrgyzstan has one of the highest rates globally of drug-resistant forms of TB (around 25% of new cases), which are extremely risky as they are no longer responsive to the standard treatment and can take up to two years to treat. USAID, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, introduced new drugs and more effective treatments to treat drug resistant TB.

As today marks World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, the City of Cape Town says one out of every 10 clients who start TB treatment fail to complete the full six months course of treatment. People who are health workers, doctors, NGO workers, parliamentarians and community leaders can all come together and be leaders in the effort to put an end to TB. "Tuberculosis is therefore described as one of the leading causes of death in HIV positive persons and in 2016 was responsible for about 40% of HIV deaths", the Ministry of Health says.

In the year 2016, over 1 million children were diagnosed with TB and 250,000 children died of the disease.

Earlier on the eve of World TB Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) had urged the countries to harness the power of technology for early diagnosis of this disease. Over 95 per cent of TB deaths occur in low-income and middle-income countries.

The treatment of the severe forms of TB can take years. "When the person is under TB medication, particularly Multi Drug Resistant TB, the medication can prove toxic for the foetus, in case conception happens".

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Other parts of the plan include broadening education and awareness, and expanding access to proven treatment and recovery efforts. He won the state's 2016 Republican presidential primary but narrowly lost in the general election to Hillary Clinton.

"This year could be the most important since Robert Koch discovered the cause of TB, 136 years ago, but only if we all show leadership", said Mr Sidibé. The emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) poses a major health security threat and could risk gains made in the fight against TB. According to Mayo Clinic, it is mainly caused by a bacteria that can spread between people through microscopic droplets released into the air. The CDC and its domestic and worldwide partners, including the National TB Controllers Association and the global Stop TB Partnership, are working together to eliminate this deadly disease.

"Greater attention should be given to managing latent TB lest it becomes active, especially for persons living with HIV".

"We are using this medium to encourage all patients and contacts of individuals with cough of more than 2 to 3 weeks, sputum production, haemoptysis (coughing out of blood), chest wall pain, noisy breathing, breathlessness, frequent colds, loss of weight, loss of appetite, fever and night sweats, to report to the nearest health facility for necessary tests".

"99DOTS gives the patients the freedom and ownership of their treatment". One of the biggest road blocks in eradicating TB is general lack of awareness about the condition. Yet, despite advances in medicine over the last 136 years, tuberculosis killed more people in 2017 than any other infectious disease. "A TB-free world is a wonderful service to humanity", PM said.

Scientific estimates suggest India has almost 28 lakh TB patients, out of which only 18 lakhs are accounted for either in the government programme or as known private sector cases.