World Tuberculosis Day: TB is still a taboo for many

World Tuberculosis Day: TB is still a taboo for many

By Nazima Sidiq/ Insha Latief
Budgam: Zamrooda Begum was suffering from mild fever, cough, muscle pain, and fatigue for a month but she didn’t tell anyone from her family, not even her husband.
When her condition started deteriorating, she visited a medical shop where the person told her to attend a camp organized by District Tuberculosis Center Budgam.
“My in-laws won’t let me live with them if they will come to know.  They won’t let me enter the kitchen. Not only my family but if anyone will come to know about it, I will be put in isolation. There is a lot of social stigma attached with this disease,” said Zamrooda, sitting quietly in a corner at District Tuberculosis Centre Budgam, where she has been getting treatment for tuberculosis for the past few months.
Her condition is improving and she has been getting treatment from the nearest sub center.
“I can’t take the medicine to my home, may be they will come to know about it. So I come to sub center to get medicines,” she said.
Every person of the area who is affected with tuberculosis has a medicine box of his or her own. It has the name, address and contact number of the patient. In case, a patient misses his medicine, he gets call from office.
Dr Adfar Yaseen, District Tuberculosis Officer Budgam has witnessed many such cases in the district where women were not coming forward to talk about the diseases.
“Our health workers work hard to maintain such relationships with patients who don’t want to talk freely about it. Their medicine is given to them at a place where a patient wants. Sometimes they don’t come, so we call them and ask them to take medicines.”
According to officials, despite the hurdles, tuberculosis in women has been controlled to large a large extent.
Dr Adfar said that tuberculosis was also one of the leading causes of sterilization among women.
She said that with the help of counselling and awareness programs, many lives were saved.
“We tell patients about medicines and precautions. As this disease is curable so we also work on to remove social stigma attached to it.”

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