BIMC is dedicated to informing Bali residents of just how prevalent TB is and educating them so that they are able to identify the disease early and seek proper treatment.
TB kills an estimated 4,400 people a day, a number that is “unacceptably high,” said a World Health Organization alongside HIV as a leading cause of death globally.More than half of the world’s TB cases were in China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan.The spread of drug-resistant strains of TB is a concern, combined with the need for new drug treatments and better access to care for those in need.
Perhaps the most concerning aspect of TB is that the bacteria exists in so many people (about a third of the global population) and develops into the disease when the conditions are right. Your chances of developing TB are higher if you have acquired the bacteria within the past 2 years, did not receive proper TB treatment in the past, abuse alcohol or drugs, or have a health issue that results in lowered immunity. In the case of the latter, most at risk are those with diabetes mellitus, scoliosis, some forms of cancer, leukaemia, Hodgkin’s disease, kidney disease and particularly HIV – HIV patients are 37 times more likely to develop TB and it is the leading cause of death amongst HIV patients.
The disease is airborne and although it can affect other parts of the body, it most commonly infects the lungs. You can contract TB by inhaling air that has been infected through coughing, sneezing, etc. This can happen in public spaces such as schools and offices or if you have spent time with someone who has the disease.
Despite the number of TB deaths around the world, the disease can be cured but key to this is diagnosing it early enough and taking effective measures to treat it.
The following are symptoms that you should be on the look out for:
- Coughing that persists for 2-3 weeks
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pains
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Fever and night sweats
If you have been exposed to TB (i.e. spent time with someone already infected) or notice the symptoms above, it is very important to see a BIMC doctor as soon as possible. Our doctors will be able to take a chest X-Ray to determine whether you do in fact have TB.
Patients diagnosed with TB are strongly advised to complete their course of treatment in order to be effectively cured and to avoid future infections.If you or a family member has TB, the following steps should be taken to avoid spreading the disease to those around you.
- Stay away from work or school and avoid close contact with other people
- Sleep separately from the rest of the family
- Make sure the house is well ventilated at all times
- When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth with a tissue or handkerchief.
- Discard used items and always wash your hands afterwards.
- While there is no adult vaccination for TB, the BCG vaccination is available for young children in all government clinics.