Definition : Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic disease mainly of the lungs, caused by a germ that transmits through air. Detected in time, it is curable; or else it results in prolonged suffering & death.
Know TB – No TB:
Notice early signs; suspicion of TB crucial for timely detection. Symptoms. Diagnosis. Prevention. Who is at high risk? Tips to protect your child. Develop a sixth sense. Which TB patient could be infective? Do’s & don’ts. Read More !
TB is hereditary; runs in the family. I am rich, hence immune. It belongs to past era; eradicated now. If I meet, touch, sit or eat with a TB patient, I will fall sick. Each patient spreads disease & must be sent to sanatorium. TB is incurable; means sure death. Drugs are costly. Patient feels OK in 2 months; needs no further treatment.TB occurs only in lungs. To cough out blood means sure shot TB. Read More !
Overview – Globe:
An ancient scourge. Rampant in poor world. Has killed more humans than the 2 World Wars. Once affluent West cleansed itself (1970s), R&D stopped. Science favors rich, as profit comes first, not people. TB-control is big business; human acts a scavenger on its own race. West faces resurgence. Poor nations condemned to use ancient tools: sputum test is 127, X-ray 114, BCG vaccine 88 and latest drug 43 years old! Read More !
Threat to Mankind:
Multi-drug Resistance: Efficacy of TB drugs rapidly deteriorating due to rampant abuse – incomplete treatment / self-medication/ quackery; wrong diagnosis / drugs / doses; sub-standard / expired pills; frequent changes of doctors / drugs. Germ becomes drug-resistant rendering patients almost incurable. All top 5 drugs are in use – without backup or new cures in the offing. Check misuse – lest incurable strains pollute globe, plunging humanity back to pre-antibiotic era of our grand parents, when TB was incurable! Read More !
HIV depletes immunity, invites TB. 50% HIV +ve persons develop TB. 30% die of it. Spread of HIV more dangerous for TB-infected countries like
India – where 40% Indian adults already carry dormant TB germs, waiting for opportunity. Read More !
Overview – India:
TB kills an Indian per minute; govt. says 2 die in 3 minutes.
1962 – 92: First national TB program – failed; used cheap drugs that took 12 months to cure.
1998: A new model (DOTS) adopted. Best drugs are now used, that cure in 6 months.
Patient now takes mere 3 doses a week (& not daily as always) but under close supervision.
Mercilessly, 1 out of mere 2 diagnostic tools, omitted – no chest X-ray for infectious Indians!
Diagnosis & follow up by sputum test alone!
TB expert & private sector (catering to half case-load) excluded! Read More !
Steps that govt. must take urgently: India:
Every lung TB patient must undergo chest X-rays (like in China). Remodel DOTS. Non-TB doctors run it; include TB expert to at least oversee. In state govt. services, countless clinical experts rot in wrong slots; Eye Surgeons head TB in some Indian districts (e.g. Panipat Haryana)! End this mismanagement – deploy clinical specialist always in his own branch. Put in place a mechanism to examine / implement the above and similar several more steps listed as ‘Prayers’ in Public Interest Litigation (CWP (C) No.185 of 2007) filed by TB Free India Foundation and Dr. Raman Kakar and adjudicated by Delhi High Court. Read More !