R. Krishnamoorthy

A major advantage for patients is easy accessibility

TIRUCHI: In conformity with the approach of Directly Observed Treatment Shortcourse (DOTS), advocated by World Health Organisation for effective eradication of tuberculosis, the Deputy Directorate of Medical Services, Tuberculosis, Tiruchi, has started distributing medicines to patients through places of worship too.

Medicines were distributed through a few mosques at Shanmuga Nagar along Vayalur Road, Sangiliandapuram, and Ariyamangalam, during the past month and the response is said to be encouraging. In due course, medicines will be distributed through temples and churches, under the Revised National TB Control Programme through DOTS, B. Abdul Samad, Deputy Director of Medical Services, Tuberculosis, told The Hindu .

Dr. Samad has conducted motivational sessions for priests. With the move assuming the dimension of `service to mankind,' officials are confident that total eradication of this contagious disease is possible.

3,500 patients

Hitherto, the drugs were supplied at K.A.P. Viswanatham Government Medical College Hospital, Corporation hospitals, taluk hospitals and primary health centres to over 3,500 identified tuberculosis patients, including 1,000 in the city. In villages, the village health nurses, staff nurses, teachers and self-help groups reach out to patients.

Though the patients start the medication course well, the ignorant among them tend to discontinue after a month or two buoyed by the impact of the drug. However, a complete cure can be certain only after six months of sustained medication, explained Dr. Samad.

A major advantage of distributing medicines through places of worship is easy accessibility. Patients are not bound by time constraints, and could avail treatment under observation any time of the day.

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