With cases of tuberculosis (TB) “predominantly” high in certain areas of the Tirupattur Health Unit Division (THUD) such as Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Pernambut and Gudiyattam, the District TB Centre has proposed an operational research to look into the causes.
“There are more number of TB cases in areas housing match factories at Gudiyattam and Pernambut and tanneries at Vaniyambadi and Ambur. We are trying to take forward an operational research to find why cases are predominantly high in these areas by involving Vellore Government Medical College and the Christian Medical College. We are waiting for the approval from the State government,” Deputy Director (Tuberculosis), Vellore District, Raja Sivanandam, told The Hindu.
As there were “hidden cases” of TB at Ambur, Vaniyambadi, Pernambut and Gudiyattam, a plan of action has been submitted to the State government to take up active case findings at these areas, he said.
“Many persons are not coming out in the open. So, we have chalked out a plan of action to take up active case findings. We will go in search of patients in these areas so that more cases are detected and put on treatment.”
Three TB units are functioning in the THUD at the Primary Health Centres at Madanur, Natrampalli and Vaduganthangal.
Data reveals that the three units have achieved significant detection and cure rates.
In the first quarter of 2010 – January, February and March — Madanur unit has treated a total of 201 cases.
Its sputum conversion rate was 90 per cent and it achieved a cure rate of 86 per cent. The unit at Natrampalli registered a cure rate of 89 per cent and that at Vaduganthangal, 87 per cent.
To reach out to tribal areas, the centre conducted special tribal camps in which 14 TB cases were detected at Pudurnadu and five at Naickaneri.
“Our staff visit these areas twice a month to get in touch with persons having symptoms attributed to TB such as cough for two weeks, loss of weight, loss of appetite and evening rise in temperature,” he explained.
“The three units are doing much better comparatively. The aim of the government is to achieve 100 per cent in case detection, drug compliance and cure rate. For this, public, community-based organisations, NGOs, educationists and patients should work in unison and join hands with the government to bring into the fold all cases of TB under the Directly Observed Treatment Shortcourse,” he observed.
Intensifying the Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilisation action, the centre will focus on rural and tribal areas where there are more cases.
Patient provider meetings, community meetings and frequent sensitisation meetings are being held.