India accounts for a quarter of the world’s annual incidence of TB. Every year around 2 million people develop TB in India and 300,000 die. The World Health Organisation has shown concern for the alarming rise in rates of Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB cases in India. Most of the rural people in Ananthapuram and nearby areas are chain smokers, and hence are at high risk of developing TB. As there was no TB treatment centre available in and around the area, RDT took the initiative to decrease the burden of TB in Ananthapuram free of cost along with nutritional support for patients.
Prevention of TB involves early screening of those at high risk and treatment. The RNTCP centre in RDT works along government guidelines for managing MDR TB. All suspected TB patients are admitted for checking sputum Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB), chest X-rays, diagnosis and counselling. All TB cases are also screened for HIV and diabetes and referred to local PHCs for DOTS RNTCP Cat-I or Cat-II.
After registration, the patients undergo counselling for life style changes and are motivated to visit the hospital on a regular basis. Counsellors collect the data related to patients, identify their problems and give psychological support and guide the patients as per their need. MDR TB treatment is given to patients through DOTS Plus centres following RNTCP guidelines. All MDR TB and XDR TB cases are admitted in the hospital for treatment.
RDT outreach workers follow up with TB patients to check their adherence to medication. This has proven to have very positive effects, helping reduce abandonment of treatment and therefore combatting resistance of the infection.