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Statement of Health Kalon on World TB Day

Dr Tsering Wangchuk Health Kalon. Photo: CTA
Dharamshala: - March 24 commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. Since then 24th March is observed every year as World TB Day worldwide.

Tuberculosis is a preventable disease which can be prevented and cured easily by prompt and proper diagnosis and treatment.

Every year more than nine million people are affected and more than two million people die of TB worldwide.

The burden of tuberculosis in our community has decreased over the decades due to improvement in economic condition and medical facilities.

However, due to lack of awareness about the disease, poor treatment compliance by patients and unreliable treatment regimen by private practitioners, the incidence of drug resistant form of tuberculosis is on the rise and thus, posing a serious health problem in our community.

Multi drug resistant tuberculosis is not only difficult to treat but also takes more than two years of treatment. Treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis costs more than two hundred thousand rupees, inadvertently causing an enormous economic burden to patients, community and the administration at large.

This year’s World TB Day theme “Stop TB in my Lifetime” underscores the need to instill awareness about tuberculosis and endeavors to stop TB in one’s lifetime.

You and your near and dear ones who experience any signs and symptoms of TB such as cough for a prolonged period, mild fever during night time, perspiration, chest pain, weight loss and loss of appetite should immediately seek medical care from the nearest Indian Govt or Health Department medical facility.

Patients must fully comply with their treatment and take necessary precautions like covering one’s mouth to ensure that they do not infect others.

We all must realize that TB patients are like one of us who desire happiness and must therefore be treated with love and compassion without any sort of discrimination. Lastly, I urge all members of our community, young and old, to join together for this collective effort to prevent and control TB in our community.

I hope and pray that soon we would be able to eliminate TB from our community.

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