‘More TB patients resistant to medication’

Bhaktapur, January 19

Cases of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis are rising in the country due to irregular intake of TB drugs and increasing number of TB treatment dropouts.

It is assumed that there are more than 1, 200 MDR-TB cases in the country now.  Currently, only 400 MDR-TB patients are receiving treatment through DOTS centres under National Tuberculosis Programme.

“Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis is a form of tuberculosis infection caused by bacteria that are resistant to treatment with at least two of the most powerful first-line anti-TB medications,” said Dr Kedar Narsingh KC, Director at National Tuberculosis Centre.

“The tendency of TB patients dropping out of treatment is increasing as the treatment course spans over 24 months. Irregular medication among TB patients lead to them developing resistance to first-line anti-TB medications. These patients are ultimately diagnosed with MDR-TB,” he said.

“Because of migration and unavailability of treatment centres nearby, the number of TB treatment drop outs seem to go up,” said Dr Suresh K. Shrestha, Technical Specialist of Tuberculosis at Save the Children.

“If tuberculosis is diagnosed early, MDR-TB is preventable,” said Shrestha.  For that, every TB patient has to get treatment regularly and every individual has to undergo health checkup for TB frequently,” the doctor said.

According to WHO, 45 to 50 per cent people have TB bacteria in their body.