Number of cases being reported in the district went up last year, say doctors

With growing awareness of tuberculosis (TB) among the public, the number of cases being reported in the district went up last year, say doctors on the World Tuberculosis Day (March 24).

According to district health officials, around 1,400 TB cases are reported in Madurai district every year.

A majority of the affected were in the middle age group. Nearly 6,000 cases had been reported since 2012. A total of 144 multi-drug-resistant TB cases had been identified in the district, an official said.

The disease evoked fear among the people who isolated those infected with it, said health experts.

Earlier, the TB patients were treated in isolation, but now they were being provided domiciliary medical care (treatment at home) after the launch of Direct Observation Treatment Short Course (DOTS) programme, recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

There was an attitudinal change in the people towards the disease now, they added.

“There is an increased awareness among the public, which is one of the important reasons for the rise in TB cases in the district,” said S. Vadivel Murugan, Medical Superintendent, Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH).

“In the past, the disease was seen as a poor man’s disease, but anyone with low immunity can be infected,” he added. According to the WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2013, around 1.8 million TB cases were reported in India every year. The country has the highest number of multi-drug-resistant TB patients.

Awareness programme

Meanwhile, the Government Hospital for Thoracic Medicine in Austinpatti near here organised an awareness programme on the occasion of the World Tuberculosis Day.

“Patients and their attendants were sensitised to the disease,” said S. Gandhimathinathan, Resident Medical Officer of the hospital.

Presently, there are 140 inpatients in the TB ward at the hospital. More details can be had by calling toll-free number 1800-4252-108, or sending an e-mail to dtotnmdu@rntcp.org

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