Narayanganj shows how to fight TB

When fighting out tuberculosis (TB) still remains a big challenge
elsewhere in the country, Narayanganj, a district on the bank of the
Shitalakshya River, shows a 98 percent success in controlling it,
thanks to concerted efforts of all.“Definitely, this has been possible due to sincere and effective joint
efforts of all. Each actor from field-level to civil surgeon has
played an equal role in making it happen,” medical officer of
Narayanganj Civil Surgeon office Dr Probir Kumar Das said.
He said strong monitoring and dedicated efforts of the people involved
in the TB control process brought around 98 percent success in terms
of cure and complete TB treatment course during 2011-2012
(April-March) period.
Every year, 43-45 people in 100,000 die of tuberculosis in Bangladesh,
said Akramul Islam, Associate Director of Brac Health, Nutrition &
Population Program (HNPP).
The government, doctors (graduate private practitioners), non-graduate
doctors or village doctors, Brac and other stakeholders, including
young men and women and Shasthya Shebikas (SSs), the first frontline
community health workers are jointly working to fight out TB in
“This is just an outcome of sincerity and dedication. People who
engage in this process naturally turn honest and sincere as they feel
they’re working for the country,” said M Akter Hossain, Quality
Control Officer, TB, Dhaka Division.
He said there is no scope to undermine the contribution of anyone of
the actors directly involved in TB control process. “It’s a
contributory system.”
Shamsun Nahara, Senior District Manager, Brac, Narayanganj, said they
have brought 80 graduate private practitioners, 125 non-graduate
practitioners or village doctors and Shasthya Shebika under a network
and they have been working tirelessly.
“The graduate private practitioners don’t charge fee from the TB
suspects of patients. This is a tremendous support. We’re grateful to
Civil Surgeon (Dr Dulal Chandra Chowdhury) here for making this
happen,” Shamsun Nahar said.
The Civil Surgeon took that decision (not to charge from TB suspects,
patients) on October last year, she added.
Brac set up some outreach centers close to a good number of community
clinics out of total 107 for providing TB-related services to people.
M Saidul Islam, District Manager, Brac Narayanganj, said they
successfully cured over 4060 TB patients from April 2011 to March
2012. “The total number of patients during the period was 4151, of
them 2481 were male and 1670 female.”
A total of 2418 male and 1642 female TB patients were either cured or
completed TB treatment successfully showing around 98 percent success
rate, Saidul Islam said adding that the success of the current year
will be known after a year as TB is a time-consuming treatment.
In Bangladesh, TB is a major public health problem and a leading cause
of adult mortality. WHO ranks Bangladesh the sixth among 22 high
burden TB countries.
The government and NGO Brac are jointly working to expand the Directly
Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS) services nationwide to reduce
morbidity, mortality and transmission of TB until it is no longer a
public health problem.
The government has a target to achieve and sustain at least 70 percent
case detection and 85 percent treatment success among smear-positive
TB cases under DOTS.
(UNB, Narayanganj)

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