Health news: Apollo joins hands with IMA to spread TB awareness

Chennai: Apollo Hospitals along with Indian Medical Association organized a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program to inform medical practitioners on the advanced medical treatment options available.

Tuberculosis, a public health threat for over hundreds of years, still remains a major concern among doctors and patients.  It is the second leading infectious disease killer in the world behind HIV/AIDS. According to studies, in India two people die of tuberculosis every three minutes. Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria and spreads to persons through air. It not only affects lungs, but also the brain, spine, intestines, eyes, covering of the heart, stomach, and bones and joints.

While lung TB is most common, about 2 lakh Indians suffer from tuberculosis of the spine. It affects people of all age groups and all socio-economic backgrounds. Incidence of spinal TB has increased with a rise in prevalence among HIV patients.

Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is the biggest threat to serious TB control efforts.  MDR-TB is dangerous as it harbours TB bacilli resistant to standard first line drugs such as isoniazid and rifampicin, the two most powerful anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB is often the result of inconsistent or incomplete treatment, when patients fail to take their medicines regularly, usually because they begin to feel better and wrongly assume they are completely cured.  Sometimes patients develop MDR-TB because they follow wrong treatment regimens prescribed by doctors and health workers.

Tuberculosis is a treatable and curable disease. Active, drug-sensitive TB disease is treated with a standard six-month course of four antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer. Without such supervision and support, treatment adherence can be difficult and the disease can spread. The vast majority of TB cases can be cured when medicines are provided and taken properly.

Hence at the CME programme organised by Apollo Hospitals and Indian Medical Association, medical practitioners discussed the various treatments and diagnose options for the early identification of the killer disease. Keeping in mind the theme of the year “We want zero TB deaths”, the key speakers informed the participants on the advancements in the field of medicine for TB cure.

Dr M Balasubramaniam, Former NWG Member IMA GFATM RNTCP PPM RCC Project and Chairman, PPLSSS of IMA TNSB, Dr. V. Kanagasabai, Dean, Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital, Dr. Narasimhan, Respiratory Specialist, Apollo Hospitals and various experts spoke on the advanced medical treatments available to curb the deadly disease.