The facts:

This project began in July of 2015 and will last for three years tackling tuberculosis (TB) in the districts of Natore and Pabna in Sirajgonj, Bangladesh.

TB’s bacterial make up shares many similarities with leprosy. By tackling TB, we are also able to access those who may have leprosy and other diseases like visceral leishmaniasis.

The aim:

Lepra implements this project under the ‘Global Fund to fight Aids, TB and Malaria’ as part of the World Health Organization (WHO) global effort to end TB by 2035. The overall goal of the TB control program is to reduce the number of deaths caused by TB as well as the transmission of TB until it is no longer a public health problem.

More specifically we want to inform children, women and men about the ways in which TB can be passed on, how it can be prevented and what signs to look out for. We also aim to enhance access to screening for TB and train staff to detect cases. This should increase early detection rates of TB and prevent the number of TB-related deaths.

What exactly are we doing?

A big part of our work is running campaigns to educate people on how TB can prevented, what symptoms to look out for and where people can go for treatment. To test for TB we also offer sputum testing. That’s when a person spits into a cup and we use this to test for the presence of TB. If that person tests positive then we are able to put them on a course of treatment which involves taking several pills each day for a specific length of time. The timescale depends on the severity of the case.

Our workers then provide what is known as DOTS treatment. This is the process of having one of our workers visit a TB affected person every day throughout the course of their treatment to provide them with the drugs and watch them take the tablet. This is very important because if a person does not complete their treatment they can build up a resistance which makes their case of TB incredibly difficult to treat. It also means that anyone they may have passed the disease onto during that time will also have a resistance.

How can you help?

You can help us continue this work in finding TB cases and potentially other cases of leprosy by donating. Just a small amount can keep our staff well-trained and run health awareness campaigns so that we can detect cases of TB at an early stage and prevent the number of  deaths caused by this disease.

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