Kilpauk Medical College on Wednesday conducted an awareness programme in observation of World Tuberculosis Day. Over 300 people, including patients, relatives, persons with HIV, women and children, attended the meeting.
Experts spoke on the various aspects of tuberculosis, causative agents, signs and symptoms, prevention techniques, treatment modalities and drug adherence. D. Vijayasekaran, pulmonologist, Government Children's Hospital, Egmore, gave the audience an insight into TB, conveying the message effectively in layman's language. Four per cent of all Indians are said to harbour the TB-causing Mycobacterium tuberculosis and 20 per cent of them are in the infective stage. The clear signs and symptoms one should watch out for are fever, loss of weight and appetite, persistent cough.
V. Kanakasabai, Dean, Kilpauk Medical College, spoke on the preventive aspects. Anyone with a TB infection must cough with the mouth covered, he said. Other aspects such as taking good nutrition, avoiding smoking and alcohol, taking BCG vaccination on time and following a good exercise regimen were recommended. The DOTS treatment regimen must be adhered to for the prescribed six to eight months, he said. Stopping treatment after a few months will lead to multi-drug resistant TB or even extreme drug resistant strains that are difficult to cure.
Charts detailing this information in Tamil were also displayed on the occasion at the hospital. These charts will continue to be on display at the Out Patient unit of the hospital for a month, Dr. Kanakasabai said. The same presentation was also made at the TB Centre in Otteri, he added.