On World TB Day Dr Ahanger attacks the current therapy
By INSHA LATIEF
SRINAGAR: At an event organized to commemorate World Tuberculosis Day at SKIMS Medical College Bemina, director SKIMS A G Ahanger criticized the therapy currently used worldwide to tackle the disease.
“DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment, Short course) have created havoc in the treatment management of the tuberculosis worldwide,” said Dr Ahangar said.
“It has led to the emergence of resistance against drugs and it is because of this, we are not able to tackle it. Those who are in favor of DOTS regime should revive their opinion.”
DOTS is the internationally recommended strategy for TB control that has been recognized as a highly efficient and cost-effective strategy. It is also used in India to cure TB patients under Revised National TB Control Programme.
It involves administering medicines to patients under supervision at a DOS centre, to minimize the chances of patients leaving treatment midway.
Ahangar said that while medical sciences have succeeded in curing and preventing diseases like cancer, polio and other viral diseases but nothing concrete has been done to cure tuberculosis.
“Doctors should try to revise opinion about tuberculosis on this day and keep a commitment to eradicate the disease but we have failed to do so till date.”
“One single disease that has been the source of problem for the entire world is Tuberculosis. Though it is manageable but we see people dying because of it. Tuberculosis can attack any organ. Many times, a doctor thinks that the problem can be cancer or tumors but it has turned to be tuberculosis,” Dr Ahanger said.
Other speakers at the event talked about the challenges and progress in fight against the disease.
Dr Waheed, a noted psychiatrist talked about the stigma attached to the disease. He said that doctors should raise awareness among people regarding the disease and also among administrators who can provide facilities to address the stigma and discrimination.
Riyaz Untoo, Principal SKIMS said WHO has set a deadline to make the world tuberculosis free till 2035.
“We are working to build better infrastructure and giving facilities to patients though our hospital,” he said.
As compared to earlier procedure where medicines were given for six months for three days in a week, in coming months medicines will be given on daily basis. Dr Ashfaq said, “This has started in many states but in Jammu and Kashmir, it will be starting soon.”
This year WHO has set the theme “Unite to End TB”.