TUBERCULOSIS-GOLDEN RULES FOR TB PATIENTS (PATIENT COUNSELING)
There are certain golden ruled that each TB patient must be aware of. Not only will this allow him to help in self-management, it will also ensure minimum spread because of preventable causes.
- One should understand the infectiousness of the disease and the good results of regular treatment with drugs.
- Patient should also understand the nature of treatment and that it can be carried out at home, without any problem.
- The patient should avoid complete bed rest and resume active life as early as possible (when his sputum becomes negative).
- He should take proper nutritious diet consisting of inexpensive seasonal vegetables and fruits.
- Patient must avoid alcohol and smoking.
- Patient can practice “safe sex” using barrier method of contraception during the treatment to avoid pregnancy and to prevent other sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS.
- One sputum positive patient infects about 10 – 15 individuals in one year. They are usually his family members or coworkers.
- All household / work place contacts (especially children less than 5 years of age) showing any symptoms of TB must be evaluated for active disease.
- After the initial treatment of 2 – 3 weeks the patient starts feeling well as most of his symptoms abate. Most of the patients stop taking their drugs on their own due to this reason. Ignorance, illiteracy and economic constraints are other reasons which contribute to irregular treatment. However, all patients must complete their treatment. Patients who are less privileged economically can visit government TB clinics and DOTS centers where all the facilities of diagnosis and treatment are available free of cost.
- TB patients should continue treatment regularly for the entire duration as irregular treatment can lead to development of drug resistance (MDR-TB) which is very expensive as well as difficult to treat.