Rescue home proposed for MDR TB patients in Kozhikode

Mismanagement of treatment, person-to-person transmission reasons for spread

A rescue and rehabilitation home has been proposed for patients diagnosed with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) in Kozhikode district in view of its high incidence.

According to official sources, 42 people are undergoing treatment for MDR TB in Kozhikode district at present. Two patients died last year. Patients with MDR TB do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the most powerful anti-TB drugs, because the bacteria that cause TB could develop resistance to these anti-microbial drugs, says the World Health Organisation (WHO). It points out that mismanagement of treatment and person-to-person transmission are the two main reasons for the emergence and spread of MDR TB. Most people get cured by a strict six-month drug regime, along with support and supervision.

“Inappropriate or incorrect use of antimicrobial drugs, or use of ineffective formulations of drugs (such as use of single drugs, poor quality medicines or bad storage conditions), and premature treatment interruption can cause drug resistance, which can then be transmitted, especially in crowded settings such as prisons and hospitals,” the WHO says on its website.

“Around 25 of the patients in Kozhikode are either aged or are unable to earn a living. Some of them are bedridden and their families tend to treat them as a burden. The proposed shelter could have facilities for their treatment and some occupational therapy,” P.P. Pramod Kumar, District TB Officer, told The Hindu on Tuesday. The proposal has been submitted to the District Collector.

Health risk

Sixteen of the patients are diabetic too. “Left for themselves, people with MDR TB may pose a health risk as they could transmit the disease to hundreds if they travel in public places,” he said.

The solutions suggested by the WHO are curing the patients at the first instance itself, providing access to diagnosis, ensuring infection control in facilities where patients are admitted and appropriate use of recommended second-line drugs.

Official sources said that vacant land near the Institute for Chest Diseases on the Government Medical College campus was likely to be chosen for the rescue home. The issue would be discussed at the next meeting of the medical college hospital development society, they added.

Dr. Pramod said some of the patients were spotted during a house survey held as part of the State government’s TB elimination mission that aims to reduce the number of people under treatment to 2,020 by 2020. Right now, around 20,000 people are undergoing TB treatment across the State.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 1:36:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/rescue-home-proposed-for-mdr-tb-patients-in-kozhikode/article28336726.ece

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