TOPICS-Twin threats: TB and HIV/AIDS
TB and HIVAIDS are both major public health problems in South Asian countries including Nepal.
Although the government is trying hard to fight against these deadly diseases, they are raising their ugly head more vigorously than ever before.
TB is a highly contagious and
cosmopolitan air-borne disease caused by infection with micro-bacterium TB. In the same way, acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a condition resulting from infection caused by human immune-deficiency virus (HIV).
According to official sources, South Asia shoulders 28.3 percent of the global TB burden and is home to
2.6 million HIV positive people. The causes are lack of health information, communication and education from HIVAIDS to TB, all of which are easily preventable if some basic rules of health and hygiene are observed and standard sanitary conditions exist.
According to official sources, as
of April 11, 2008, 234 HIV positive
had contracted AIDS. AIDS is first
and foremost a sexually transmitted disease with no specific treatment.
For this, avoiding indiscriminate sex; using condoms during sexual
intercourse are ways to control AIDS. Besides this, contaminated blood products from HIV viruses are also equally responsible for the transmission of AIDS from an infected person to another uninfected individual.
Till date there is no specific treatment of HIV infection except prevention through health education, information and communication.
On the contrary, TB is a vaccine
preventable and hundred per cent curable diseases if treated as per
the rules and regulations of modern medical science.
Checking the spread of TB and HIVAIDS involves measures at two stages, namely, preventive measures and primary medical aid. Implementing the preventive measure among
our rural people is the greatest challenge as many of them do not understand the implication of haphazard sexual habit.
A recent report made public by SAARC Tuberculosis and HIVAIDS Center, in Nepal, every year 40,000 people develop active TB; of whom 20,000 have infectious pulmonary TB, resulting in 5,000 to 7,000 deaths while 70,256 adults are estimated to be living with HIV that includes 18,942 women.