35,000 new TB patients detected every year in Nepal: National Tuberculosis Center (NTC)


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Bhaktapur, Jan 20 (RSS): Approximately 35,000 new tuberculosis patients are added to the list every year in the country, according to data made public by the National Tuberculosis Center (NTC) Bhaktapur at the two-day workshop concluded on Saturday in Nagarkot.  The workshop aimed to create awareness of the disease.  Around 10,000 to 12,000 patients with the disease are out of contact, said NTC Dr Kedar Narsingh KC.  According to him, there are 5,000-7,000 annual deaths from the disease every year in Nepal. Likewise, country's 45 per cent population are at risk of TB infection.  Only 352 complicated drug-resistant tuberculosis patients out of estimated number of around 1,100 have come into contact with the center.  TB bacteria get released into the air by someone who has already contracted the bacteria in the body transmitting the disease to others.  The symptoms include coughing blood, chest pain, weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweets and chills.  The treatment phase of TB patients includes two months intensive phase, followed by a continuation phase of either four or seven months.  TB patients get free treatment at TB-DOTS centres, and there are more than 4,000 TB-DOTS centres around the country.  TB is in the first position in view of risk of communicable disease and the center has begin the nationwide survey under the five-year national strategic plan to find out the exact figures of TB patients.  The results of a survey that has begun in 99 clusters nationwide since January are expected to come by the end of 2019.  According to center director KC, the survey would help give a real data about TB patients in the country and would provide a guideline to eliminate the disease by the year 2035 AD to meet the sustainable development goals.  Sample collection of cough, increase in public awareness, coordination with the local level and operation of campaign to make the common people aware of the disease fall in the center's policies taken for the disease prevention.  China is the country having the maximum number of TB patients while India is in the second position and Nepal that lies between these two countries is at high risk of TB infection, the center said.  The center has launched the advanced 'Shorter MDR- TB Regimen (STR) ' for the treatment of TB patients. This treatment system is implemented in two phases (first phase goes for  fourth months with the use of six types of drugs and injection and second phase last for five months with the use of four types of drugs).  The center treating the TB patients though multi-drug resistant method launched the STR method bearing in mind side effects of long use (for 20-24 months) of multi-drugs on patient and inconvenience to patients to visit the center in that period. This method is presently available for only patients of lungs TB. The center is preparing to launch STR in Biratnagar, Butwal and Nepalgunj as well.  Nepal is the 35th country in the world coming up with the STR.  ---