World Tuberculosis Day

 

Success Story-Tuberculosis patient cured by treatment through Karuna-Shechen, India’s DOT services.

 

Kapoorva Devi, a 40 year old resident of Banahi, a remote village in southern Bihar, lives with her sister and her family after being abandoned by her husband. In mid-2011 while on home-visits, our village motivator discovered that the lady had been ill for a fortnight. She was bed-ridden and extremely weak. The village motivator, after listening about the symptoms of the sick woman, brought her to our mobile clinic where the doctors suspecting tuberculosis, asked her to undergo the related medical tests. The results of the medical examinations confirmed their fears as she was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

 

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Kapoorva Devi started her treatment at our outreach DOT services in Banahi. Initially, she was sceptical about the treatment and would refuse to take regular medicines but the relentless efforts by our village motivator and the laboratory technician who monitors and supervises our DOT centre in Bodhgaya, finally succeeded in pursuing her to undergo proper treatment for the entire duration of 6 months. The dedication and warmth of our staff towards the patient gave her the will to combat the dreadful disease and gave her a new lease of life.

 

“Before starting my treatment I did not even have the strength to get up from my bed but not I am back to my normal self”, smiles Kapoorva Devi.

 

What is DOTS?

 

DOTS stands for “Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course” and is a major plank in the WHO Global Plan to Stop TB. The DOTS strategy focuses on five main points of action. These include government commitment to control TB, diagnosis based on sputum-smear microscopy tests done on patients who actively report TB symptoms, direct observation short-course chemotherapy treatments, a definite supply of drugs, and standardized reporting and recording of cases and treatment outcomes

 

Our results and patient follow up

 

Out of 4,718 medical examinations conducted in our pathology laboratory 465 were Sputum tests (for Tuberculosis). Out of these the number of people who were diagnosed with TB was 27. Currently, the total number of TB patients undergoing treatment at the DOT centre within our OPD and DOT services provided in the villages is 40.

 

As tuberculosis leaves a person weakened and fragile, leading to loss of several days of work which, in turn, hampers their socio-economic lives we realised that medical treatment and cure form just a part of restoring them to normalcy. Therefore, we plan to invest the money collected as registration fees from our OPD and Mobile health services, for the improvement of the livelihood opportunities of our TB patients. To discuss this, a meeting was organised with those people who have recovered completely from TB under our DOT treatment and those on their road to recovery. At the meeting we discussed our plans with the TB patients, seeking their opinion and feedback.

 

DOT Training

 

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A one-day DOT Providers’ Training was conducted in July for the motivators of the 6 newly added villages as they are responsible for administering DOT services to TB patients within their communities. The training also served as a refresher for our laboratory technicians and motivators of the rest of the villages who act as DOT providers at our medical centre in Bodhgaya and in our 12 villages respectively.

 

 

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