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Cause and effect; malnourishment and TB

Cause and effect; malnourishment and TB
Highlights

A large populace in India continues to fall prey to one of the deadliest and dreaded diseases - Tuberculosis with medical science encountering two major impediments to conceive a preventive or cure.   

A large populace in India continues to fall prey to one of the deadliest and dreaded diseases - Tuberculosis with medical science encountering two major impediments to conceive a preventive or cure.

Despite, advances in medical science, this is one affliction that as proved to be a conundrum for medical scientists putting them in a quandary in finding a palliative to decimate the culprit- Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

The contributory factor to the inability among the medical science community to come out with a solution is the attribute of the pathogen bacteria to fortify themselves against every conceivable medication or drugs used for the treatment of Tuberculosis.

The TB bacteria have assumed multi-drug-resistance (MDR) character with every available ‘potent’ drug not only proving to be impotent but on the contrary enabling it strengthening its defences. According to scientists, another characteristic that is posing a challenge is its existence in latent form, before it manifests into a deadly form to create havoc and debilitate the system.

Since the bacteria lurk within a morbid state, the symptoms become conspicuous only when they assume an active form leaving little scope for preventive measures or cure. The susceptibility of India’s populace to TB is attributed to malnutrition and malnourishment.

This has resulted in prevalence of systemic low immunity which in turn is an ideal environment for the bacteria to proliferate. TB bacteria thrive and flourish on low immunity hosts. Incidentally, HIV related tuberculosis is common in the developed world – HIV being the causative - where the prevalence of malnutrition is not high, while in India most of the cases are related to undernourishment since it can result in low immunity.

In the Indian context the prevalence of TB among a considerable populace points to not just impoverishment and the resultant malnutrition due lack of adequate and also nutritional diet, but also a lack of committed initiatives on the part of the governments over the years.

We hear a lot of talk on the part of the government about deploying measures to provide nutritional diet, especially among the poverty ridden masses, but many a time these commitments have proved to be mere platitudes.

While there is a huge gap between promises and action and a lot left to be desired in terms of action, the number of those becoming victims is only increasing.

The only preventive against Tuberculosis, for now, is to create consciousness about nutritious diet and also ensure the same to those BPL families who cannot afford it, so as to create a sturdy immune system among them.

Meanwhile, there is some good news emanating from a premier science institution in India. The Indian Institute of Chemical technology has developed an affordable and effective drug for the treatment of MDR.

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