Saturday, March 24, 2007

Is India still worst hit by TB?

Vibha Sachdeva, CNN- IBN

New Delhi: March 24 is World Tuberculosis Day and India is one of the worst hit countries by the disease. The illegal mines are the only source of livelihood for 200 Sahariya Tribal families working as labourers in Majhera village Shivpuri in Madhya Pradesh. They are hence exposed to tuberculosis.

Ninety men have died from TB so far and more than 12 have advanced tuberculosis. The TB scare is a reality but there are no other jobs as options for them. “There is no source of income and I am a widow,” says a widow, Dhano. The nearest health centre is more than 27 kilometres away. It is out of reach for patients weakened by tuberculosis, as they are unable to get there on foot.
However, health authorities say they are meeting targets. “We have been organising TB camps in these areas for the last one year and they have been successful,” says health officer, Dr Dinesh Kaushal. In rural areas, primary health centres are supposed to be in a 10 km radius, by law, but the rules and healthcare facilities are completely inadequate in this village.
Meanwhile, the villagers forced to work in the quarries, forced to risk their lives and forced to confront the deadly disease.

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