KAILALI, July 23: Even as the government and stakeholders are making attempts to eradicate tuberculosis (TB), a recently published report shows that the disease is still prevalent in places and communities where it was first noticed about two decades ago.
The report shows that TB has not been eradicated even in places where the government and organizations conducted long and arduous campaigns against it. The disease continued to prevail in the communities where the stakeholders worked to eradicate it for years, highlighting inefficiency of the eradication campaigns.
According to reports of Masuriya Health Post in Kailali, the number of TB patients continues to surge in the surrounding settlements where the disease was noticed many years ago. It suggests that TB is spreading to surrounding settlements in high numbers.
Senior Auxiliary Health Worker Dirga Raj Joshi, who has been working at Masuriya Health Post since almost two decades, said TB has been circulating around communities since the past 17 years.
“It seems like TB is spreading in the surrounding settlements,” he said. “It could have spread to family members and neighbors from ill patients, enabling the disease to spread across the settlements.”
According to Joshi, relatives and neighbors could get affected by the highly contagious disease before the victim is diagnosed with TB.
The number of TB patients is continually increasing in Kailali. In just two quarters of Fiscal Year 2016/17, a total of 772 new TB patients were recorded in the district. In the following fiscal year 2017/018, another 749 TB patients were recorded.
Masuriya Health Post alone had received 29 TB patients during the Fiscal Year 2016/017 while there was an addition of 39 new patients the following year.
Continues cough for over two weeks, loss of weight, fever especially in the evening, chest pain, loss of appetite and blood in phlegm are some of the symptoms of TB.
Despite being a communicable disease, TB can be fully cured with regular medication. However, the duration for recovery could vary from person to person depending on various factors. The government has been distributing free medicines for TB patients with the objective of making the country free from TB.
Timely BCG vaccine for children, avoiding drinking and smoking habits, covering mouth while coughing, among other activities can reduce the chance of TB contamination.