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CATASTROPHE OF WITNESSING THE ILLNESS

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“I won’t take medicines till my exams get over” screamed the Sixteen years old boy, whose deceased father was a TB patient. The boy was diagnosed with TB when all members of the family were screened for TB. He witnessed the father’s illness and his statements of suffering about the sense of vomiting, stomach pain, fever, head ache etc. The words of his father  sown strongly inside him and made him to feel that the TB treatment creates other illness which lead to state of in-activeness. He scared that his in-activeness made him not to study and get through the exams. But his deteriorating health condition worried the Health worker of REACH. The health worker counseled him continuously explaining the nature of the treatment and TB cure. He finally convinced to take medicines and also successfully completed his exams simultaneously.

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RELIGIOUS CUSTOMS: A CHALLENGE IN TB CONTROL

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TB Control not only lie with the success of treating TB patients alone but also with screening the family members of the patients for TB disease and with enrolling the positively diagnosed into the treatment of TB for Cure. This journey of Contact screening may not be the bed of roses for the health workers. They start from counselling to convince the contacts, then to follow up them for diagnosis and also with the treatment if needed.

We all know how strong the Religious Customs are! And how does it hold the people very firmly?!  Let us see how does the health worker face this challenge?!!

“I myself preach the religion and how can I evade the practice… I will never ever do this” – uttered by a woman came for screening for TB persistently. She refused to remove her purdah in front of the male technician at the Lab for taking X-ray. Non availability of female technicians widely at Labs made the issue more complicated. The REACH staff, respecting her opinion, looks forward for searching the Lab with female technician for screening the Contact.

“God lives in me and he never let me get diseased” – the family member of the TB patient refused for TB screening. She further believed that the TB patient of the family did not embrace the religion and got the disease cuddle him. It is very challenging for a health worker to penetrate the deeply rooted faith of religious customs in TB control. Their attempt at this point could be more of balancing between the duty of controlling TB and also not to intrude the personal beliefs of the patients.

TB control is a challenge when it encounters with the strong Religious customs!!