Veeraih has been suffering from tuberculosis from last four months. He uses to work in shop in the market but after getting infected with TB virus he left his job. He had no idea about what tuberculosis was before getting infected. He is taking all his medicines but still he feels very weak. Talking more about tuberculosis he said “I use to cough a lot; I use to feel pressure in my lungs. I use to feel sudden pain in my chest, then I went to the hospital and their doctor did some tests. They took my samples and when the report came, they told me that I have TB. I had no idea what TB is before this. I went to the district hospital Davangere and there they admitted me and did all the check-ups. They told me to take medicines for 6 months. So, I am eating Medicines and it’s been 3 months.”
His family is worried about his health and even for all the other six members of the family. Geeta is Veeriah’s daughter-in-law, worried about his father-in-law’s health she said “We know what the side effects of TB are and we know how it could spread. We ask him to take all his medicines on time and he does it. And for us sometimes we will scare so he has his own utensils so it’s fine.”
Dr. Shankar Nayak came to general hospital of Harapanahalli two years ago since then he only has treated most of the patients of the taluk and near by villages. Stating lack of awareness, the biggest reason behind the increase he said “Due to ignorance, illiteracy, sometimes they come very late, they live in small houses where contact is more, they don’t come in early stages. They come at end stages and by that time their disease might have already spread. Now a day’s most of them are educated but still education level is not that high.”
There are many like Veeriah. Ibraham is also a TB patient, his situation is worst. He can’t walk, can’t eat or anything else by his own. He needs someone’s help for everything. Farheen is his daughter she said “its been more than 4-5 months, his situation is not getting any better.” He was the only source of income to his family which is totally stopped now. Family is suffering since he got TB.
Dr G D Raghuvendra has started a campaign to end tb in Davangere district under which Harapanahalli comes. He started many new programs in order to end tb. He says “We have enhanced the speed of finding TB cases earlier the patient uses to come to the hospital and we use to suspect them for sputum examination but it has become active surveillance it is called universal access to free and quality TB care in India. Including the field staff like ASHA workers, aganwadi teachers and our general health staff whenever they are in field, they go for in search of TB patient and if they find any person who has a history of coughing for more than 2 weeks than that person is sent to nearest PHC for sputum examination.” DOTS program is used to give, medicines to the patient. ASHA workers, doctors or the aganwadi teachers provide them their weekly dose of medicines.
Dr. Renukananda, taluka health officer said “Most of the awareness programme that we conduct in our taluk to control TB come under information education communication (IEC) apart from this in November we did Active Case detection finding. We conduct these two twice in a year. We go to the slums and to all those areas form where the number of patients is the most and conduct awareness program.
Everyone needs to be careful for their own health. Consuming alcohol, chewing tobacco, etc should be controlled. Children should be taught what TB is, its symptoms, causes and treatment so that they could tell their parents and others who didn’t knew about it.