Many TB patients do not complete full medication course

Kathmandu, December 13

World Health Organisation has set a target to reduce new cases of tuberculosis by 80 per cent by 2030. However, many tuberculosis patients do not complete full course of medication as prescribed by doctors.

Jordin Miya of Kathmandu was diagnosed with TB 30 years ago. “After he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, he started taking medicines. However, soon after he started gaining weight, he stopped taking medicines. He thought he had recovered fully,” said Fatima Miya, niece of Jordin.

“But after three months, he again started losing weight and found that he had not fully recovered from the disease,” Miya added.

According to National Tuberculosis Centre, 45 per cent of total population in the country is infected with tuberculosis, 40,000 new tuberculosis cases are recorded every year and 5,000 to 7,000 people die of the disease annually. Tuberculosis is one of the top seven life threatening diseases in the world.

Patients with tuberculosis should regularly take medicines for 20 to 30 months. However, if it is diagnosed at early stage, patients can recover after taking medicines for just 12 months, according to the World Health Organisation.

“Though we have been providing incentives to TB patients, people lack awareness,” said Chitra Jung Shahi, section officer at District Public Health Office, Kathmandu. “We provide Rs 1,000 to tuberculosis patients for nutritional diet. Free medicines are distributed from 115 centres in the country. However, many people diagnosed with tuberculosis do not complete full course of medication. This is also the main cause of increasing deaths from the disease,” he added.