About 1.9 lakh people get infected with TB & 3,700 die a year

Nearly 1.90 lakh people are infected with tuberculosis and around  3,700 die every year in the country, speakers at a press conference  said here yesterday .They viewed Bangladesh has attained a significance success in TB  prevention programme during the last couple of years and recovery rate is 95 percent.They, however, said journalists have a vital role to play in creating mass-awareness about the disease so that people in general can prevent it themselves through the best uses of the government and non-government level health services.Offices of Divisional Director of Health and Civil Surgeon jointly organized the press conference in association with National TB Control  Programme and Damien Foundation at the conference hall of Divisional Director of Health in the city to mark the world TB Day-2015 to be observed tomorrow (Tuesday). During his keynote speech, Dr Gaziul Alam, Divisional Director-in-Charge of Health, urged the journalists to help doctors and health workers in identifying TB patients and bring them under treatment. “TB is no more a deadly disease now and it could be fully cured if the affected patients take medicines properly for six to eight months at a stretch as per the suggestions of the physicians”, he added. Besides, twenty nine percent of old patients turned into MDR-TB patients in Bangladesh. The scope of treatment for MDR-TB patients is limited compared to its number in the country. Healthcare providers can help prevent MDR TB by quickly diagnosing cases, following recommended treatment guidelines, monitoring patients’ response to treatment, and making sure therapy is completed. Another way to prevent getting MDR TB is to avoid exposure to known MDR TB patients in closed or crowded places such as hospitals, prisons, or homeless shelters. Divisional TB Expert Dr Saiful Islam, Divisional Coordinator of TBCARE-2 Himangsu Karmaker and Medical Officer of Rajshahi Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases Clinic Dr Ismat Ara also spoke Dr Gaziul Alam mentioned that the TB is an infectious disease that usually spreads through breathing of the affected patients. He said cough with pain in the chest for more than three weeks is the symptom of the disease. In the event of the contacting the disease, the infected persons are required to be diagnosed immediately, he stressed. Free treatment facilities are available at all the upazila health complexes, district hospitals, public and private medical colleges and other health centres in the country. Dr Alam stressed the need for massive participation of the civil society members in creating mass awareness about tuberculosis. He called for conducting massive awareness and searching programmes on TB in most of the vulnerable areas like slum and char areas without further delay.BSS Rajshahi