“They still believe TB is untreatable”

It was overwhelming moment for all the villagers when the 50 years old Shivdayal Pasi (schedule caste) died because of TB. Ganga Jamuni, a village around 110 km away from the state capital of Uttar Pradesh, situated in Bahraich district, is becoming more vulnerable towards preventable TB. Shivdayal is not the only one who had died because of TB. There are others in this village who are struggling with TB.

This village has a population of about 1,200 people including children. For the last four years more than six TB patients has been detected in this village.  

They believe, TB is untreatable and can easily lead to death. They have seen their forefathers too dying of TB.

They haven’t seen the miracle of simple antibiotics to treat TB.

Amit Dwivedi, for Citizen News Service

"Please save my father’s life, otherwise my whole family will be in deep trouble, because he is the only bread winner in our family with 11 members", says Ranjeet, 14 years old son of Shivdayal.

In this village all the patients belong to the Schedule caste and have a very low economic and social status. They all are daily wage workers and sometimes go to the cities to look for employment.

Local TB records don’t show the incidence of TB, or drug-resistant TB in Ganga Jamuni. Because the people from this village go to tertiary level hospitals when everything else fails to work! Moreover there are no drug-susceptibility laboratories even in the district of Bahraich.

The nearest primary healthcare centre is 10 km away. At this centre, there is no provision of DOTS.

When Shivdayal was first detected for TB, he couldn’t take proper and free medicines at the DOTS centre. Because the DOTS centre is very far from their village and there is no affordable transportation except his bicycle.

Increasing number of the TB cases is a major concern for the villagers. But they don’t know how to prevent it, because they don’t have enough knowledge and information for TB prevention, treatment and care. Most often, TB is associated with a imminent death sentence.

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