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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2706

Tuberculosis – the risk of spreading on the increase

By Manjari Peiris

There is a risk of spreading tuberculosis in Sri Lanka - 3000 unidentified patients suffering from the disease are freely wandering in the country, states the National Tuberculosis Control Programme.

Although 13,000 patients should have been yearly identified according to the estimates of the World Health Organization, the number that the hospital system has been yearly identified is 10,000, said Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, Deputy Director of the National Tuberculosis Control Programme.

A media seminar was organized by the Health Education Bureau to commemorate the World Tuberculosis Control Day on 24, March 2013.

Dr. Samaraweera further stated that the bacillus called Mycobacterium tuberculosis which spreads tuberculosis is in all the people living in the third world and the disease becomes active when the immunity system in the body becomes weak. Especially those who are suffering from HIV AIDS are more prone to getting infected from tuberculosis and the risk of causing death is also more.

According to him tuberculosis could be completely cured with treatment and if patients get treatment there is no risk of other people getting infected.

Consultant Physician Dr. Anoma Siribaddana said that tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by the bacillus mycobacterium tuberculosis. It generally affects the lung, but it also could affect any part of the body (extra pulmonary). Around 90 percent of the people who are infected with this disease do not get the active disease, only 10 percent would develop the active disease during their lifetime.

Under the Directly Observed Treatment programme (DOTS) of the World Health Organization, every patient has to take drugs in the presence of a nurse, PHI or a care taker. The DOTS Programme has been successfully implemented.

More patients suffering from tuberculosis are reported in Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Ratnapura and the causes are high populace and breadth of polluted air.

The commonest presenting symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis are prolonged cough, loss of appetite and weight, light fever and sweating in the night, excessive tiredness, chest pain, shortness of breath, secretion of phlegm with blood etc. If one is suffering from cough for more than two weeks, should go to the nearest hospital and get tested a phlegm sample.

The World Fund has provided Sri Lanka government a sum of 5.7 million dollars for control of tuberculosis for this year.

- Asian Tribune -

There is a risk of spreading tuberculosis in Sri Lanka
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