DHAKA: Tuberculosis is curable. Now it is not a death cause disease. If a tuberculosis affected person eats full course drug regularly, they will be cured normally.
In this regard, health ministry took a project to reach the drug available to the people of every corner of the country. It is working by this project called Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS).
DOTS, directly observed treatment short course, is the method followed to treat the TB patients under which grassroots health workers make sure that TB patients under their care properly follow a six-month antibiotic course.
The government started implementing the DOTS programme in 1993.
Since then, the project has been working at upazila, municipality and metropolitan areas by the partnership with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to curb the curse of tuberculosis.
According to ministry of health and family planning, about 3 lakh people of Bangladesh affect in TB disease every year. Of them, nearly 70,000 people die of TB.
BRAC, a leading NGO of Bangladesh, is the largest among all NGOs’ participating as partners of the government to implement the programme.
The BRAC is working in this programme under Health Nutrition Population Programme (HNPP) project with the government. By this programme, it is expected that TB disease and its cause death figure will be half within 2015.
Southern district Bagerhat is the most successful region in this project of the country. At least 10,351 TB affected people of the district have been cured from the deadly disease till 2012.
In 2010, there were 1357 TB patients in the district and cured 1270. In 2011, the patient number was 1327 and 1218 of them were cured.
BRAC Bagerhat district manager Shariful Islam told banglanews that BRAC is working in the district with 40 offices and 78 staffs.
Besides, in DOTS programme, BRAC has 957 nurses and 462 DOTS providers those are working at village level to implement the project.
There are 462 cough collecting centres and 17 laboratories to examine the cough in the district. From 2004 to 2012 around 11,225 TB patients had been given the treatment under this programme, he added.
Bagerhat BRAC HNPP office said, at present, 1136 TB patients are under treatment. Of them, 25 are children. Besides, in CDC 22 patients and MDR patients are 7.
Islam Sheikh, 60 of Phulbari village of Shatgambhuj union under Sadar upazila said, “I was a TB patient one year ago. One day, a BRAC medical worker came at my house and treated me well. Now, I am cured from TB and totally fit. I pay my heartiest thanks to government and BRAC.”
BRAC field level activist Shamim Goldar said, “We divide TB affected people in three parts in the name of type-1, type-2 and MDR (Multi Drug Register).”
He added: “We treat type-1 patients 6 months, type-2 patients 8 months. In emergency case we send type-1 and type-2 patient to Khulna and Dhaka.”
Sadar upazila BRAC HNPP manager Zillur Rahman said currently, BRAC is working at 10 unions and the municipality area of Sadar upazila.
BDST: 1455 HRS, NOV 13, 2013