TB prevalence survey soonThe National Tuberculosis Centre is all set to conduct a tuberculosis prevalence survey across the country. The NTC said all the preparations for the survey are over and enumerators will soon be deployed for data collection.
The National Tuberculosis Centre is all set to conduct a tuberculosis prevalence survey across the country. The NTC said all the preparations for the survey are over and enumerators will soon be deployed for data collection.
The survey will be conducted in 55 districts with a total of 57,610 respondents.
The survey team will conduct interviews and chest x-ray scans for TB symptoms. Those suspected of having the disease will need to provide a sputum specimen to confirm the case. The sputum will undergo testing in Genexpert, a machine that provides an early diagnosis of Tuberculosis. If any patients are diagnosed with TB, they will be immediately enrolled for treatment.
NTC Director Dr Kedar Narsingh KC said that among an estimated 44,000 new TB patients every year, only around 25,000 visit health facilities for treatment.
“This survey will help us understand the real situation of TB in the country. It will guide our future course including necessary interventions,” said Dr KC.
The NTC said they will pilot the survey in Sindhuli, Bhaktapur and Dolakha among some 1,800 people. This will help validate the tools that will be used in the nationwide survey. According to the NTC, 45 percent of the total population is infected with TB while 5,000-7,000 people die each year from the disease.
‘Short Treatment Regimen for MDR TB patients’
The government is also planning to implement the Short Treatment Regimen to Multi-Drug Resistance TB patients. The World Health Organisation-approved treatment regimen will cut short the treatment time for MDR patients from 20-22 to nine months.
According to Dr KC, the short treatment regimen will be introduced to patients in Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Butwal and Nepalgunj.
He said the treatment will be administered to all MDR TB patients except pregnant women and those having TB other than that affecting lungs or pulmonary TB. MDR TB is a severe form of the disease that needs special treatment. According to the NTC, there are a total of 450 MDR TB patients in the country.