QALA-I-NAW (Pajhwok): A number of people suffering from drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in western Badghis province are pleased with activation of a DR-TB treatment ward in the provincial hospital. .
According to reports, thousands of people get infected with TB every year in the country.
Local officials in Badghis did not provide exact number of people suffering from TB, but like other provinces, the number of TB patients is also increasing in the province.
Shafiq Ahmad Sultani, head of TB laboratory in the hospital, said previously patients who were in the second stage or drug-resistant TB patients were referred to Herat and Kandahar provinces for treatment, but currently the treatment was available within the province.
He added currently people suffering from TB were being treated in the hospital.
According to Sultani, the Public Health Department provides travel, food, medical expenses and examination costs which are about 3,000 or 3,500 dollars and provide treatment for 18 to 20 months.
In charge of the TB lab said the cost of each patient, which is nearly $4,000, was being paid by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to the Department of Public Health of Badghis province.
He added currently six patients were being treated in the drug-resistant TB treatment ward.
Dr. Talib Jan Mohmand, an official of the TB center, termed the contagious disease as dangerous and deadly, but curable.
According to him, fever, persistent diarrhea, phlegm, weight loss, excessive night sweats, and loss of appetite are symptoms of this disease.
He suggested ways to prevent the disease by going to health centers, staying away from people with TB and taking bath on a daily basis.
ArbabSheikhul-Islami, a civil society activist in Baghlan, expressed his happiness over the establishment of the new TB ward.
Alauddin, a TB patient from Qadus district, who is currently under treatment at the TB center, told Pajhwok Afghan News he had been suffering from TB for the last three years.
The 55-year-old patient said he had taken TB medicines for two years before, but not regularly and it had no effect.
He said he was no longer worried about going to other provinces for treatment and could easily access medicines and examination here.
Meanwhile, 40-year-old Mohammad Omar, another tuberculosis patient who is currently undergoing treatment, is pleased with the establishment of this center and says that he has been suffering from this disease for two years and has faced many problems during this time.
A resident of Abkamri district, Omar said that he had traveled many times to the neighboring provinces, especially Herat, for treatment of his illness, but he had not recovered yet.
He said he was previously worried that his other family members could contract the disease.
He said in previous years despite billions of dollars pouring into Afghanistan, no attention was paid to solving health problems of the people.
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