97 per cent of health care practitioners in rural Bihar have never had any training on TB
A new Lepra survey suggests that more than 97 per cent of rural medical practitioners in Bihar have never received TB training.

Ranjit Kant Singh, head of Lepra’s Bihar programme, conducted a survey among rural healthcare providers in the northern Indian State of Bihar.

The study assesses 561 practitioners on their TB knowledge. The results were alarming:

  • 73 per cent of the practitioners are treating TB but only three per cent have received TB training
  • 45 per cent begin treatment without proper diagnostic tests

Misconceptions regarding TB are widespread, particularly among rural health practitioners in Bihar.

This lack of knowledge is dangerous. If left untreated or treated incorrectly, patients can develop drug resistant strains of TB, making it significantly more difficult to treat. These strains can also then be passed onto others.

The World Health Organization acknowledges the importance of this study and has urged that its findings are given wider visibility.

Presentations of the findings are due to be presented at International TB Conferences in the coming months.

The survey is important as 80 per cent of people in a rural environment will approach their village doctor when feeling unwell.