KAILALI, Aug 29: In 2017, There were 29 tuberculosis cases in Masuriya, a village in Kailali district. The following year, this number reached 40. The new TB patients have been found in the same localities where cases were seen some 18 years ago. Masuriya Health Post is alarmed at the spurt in TB cases within such a small population.
“It is concerning that TB is making the rounds in the same place. The number of patients is growing in spite of preventive measures,” said Bhagiram Chaudhari, a senior health worker at the health post who is also a TB focal person.
According to him, it is settlements in the middle reaches of Kailali that appear most vulnerable. Even though patients are under medication, the infection is cropping up among others.
According to Chaudhari, the TB cases appear limited to some communities. The infection is either being handed down from one generation to the next within the same families or is being passed on to immediate neighbors with whom they come into regular and close contact. “The young in families where there were TB deaths in the past have now developed the symptoms,” he said.
Dirgharaj Joshi, another senior health worker of the health post, stated meanwhile that greater government intervention is needed to tackle the problem. “We have not been able to stamp it out through medication for the identified cases,” he said.
He observed that the TB bacteria has taken root in the Andaiya, Matkauna and Kailashpur areas also. These areas fall within Gauriganga Municipality.
Chief of health division at the municipality Ishwari Bhushal is for running mobile health camps to fight TB. Last year the municipality conducted such camps at Banbaheda, Matkauna, Andaiya and Kailashpur. “New TB patients were thus identified,” he said.
The government aims to make the country free of TB by 2050. However, places like Masuriya pose a particular problem.