Sputum Sample Transporting System: A way of early diagnosis of TB in hard to reach population
42-year-old Kumari Khadka had persistent cough, chest pain and loss of appetite for a month while she was working in Oman. She is a resident of Paruhangtole, Ward no 2, community Belka VDC, Udayapur District. Being a poor single mother for 11 years she decided to go to another country to earn for her children. She was working there as a Maid for 6 years.
After a failed attempt to recover in Oman with some cough syrup, she suspected that she might have Tuberculosis and returned back to Nepal for the treatment. She went to the private hospital at Biratnagar for the checkup where she got her X-ray done and found the dotted spot. The doctor diagnosed her TB and advised her to get the sputum checked for the confirmation and referred her to the nearest HP. She went to the Tapeshwori Health post (HP) where sputum courier system has been established. She got checked in OPD and was counseled about the disease, mode of transmission, the number of sputum to be checked and quality of sputum to be given for the diagnosis. As per instruction she had given two sputum samples that were transported to Beltar PHC (Microscopic center) for the testing. The sputum samples were examined and both samples were found positive (2+ and 2+) with TB. The result was immediately communicated to the HP and from HP to the patient. Her treatment regimen started the following day where she got counseled for DOTS methods and drug adherence.
A month later, an interview with her during her house-visit showed that she was experiencing relief from chest pain and persistent cough; her appetite was increased and she had put on some weight too. The early diagnosis and treatment made her life easy.
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