TB still the deadliest killer in India

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By Grace Jajo

IMPHAL, March 20: `Tuberculosis is undoubtedly the most deadly disease in India at present!` stated the state TB Officer Y. Gopalkrishna during the press meet at STDC/IRL Hall, Lamphelpat, Imphal. State TB cell organized the press meet in relation with the upcoming 34th World Tuberculosis Day observation scheduled for 24th March. `This year`™s theme `Reach Treat and Cure`™ aims to march more objectively towards eliminating TB on a PPP model.

TB being an airborne disease is a No. 1 killer. 1000 people dies per day in India from TB which is a curable disease. Such is the scale of ignorance and stigma still prevailing in our country.

The government provides both the facilities and supporting resources inclusive of medicines and counseling yet people continues to access unsuccessful costly treatment from private institutions.`

Speaking at the press meet Dr Y. Birendra Singh said, `More serious form of TB known as `Drug Resistant TB`™ usually results from irregular, incomplete or inappropriate treatment. Though curable, such TB are likely to face relatively unfavourable treatment outcome, lengthy course of treatment and more toxicity of drugs over and above high cost factors of the drugs and management.

People should be encouraged to access the facilities at 56 Microscopic Centres across the state. Government provides free DOTS which can cure TB including Drug Resistant TB. Further, under the new Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme the special molecular test known as CBNAAT/GeneXpert has also been introduced for free testing.`

Dr Sadhana Ningthoujam adds, `Manipur hosts the highest no. of HIV patients and probability of TB co infection is almost 70 %. Other vulnerable groups includes diabetic patients and mal-nourished people.`

Signs and symptoms for both drug sensitive and drug resistant TB are the same. They are cough for more than two weeks, loss of appetite, weight loss, chest pain, evening rise of temperature, blood in the sputum and night sweats.

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