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People’s Perception towards Directly Administered Anti TB Treatment

This study in five villages of Adilabad District in Andhra Pradesh, surveyed 200 households consisting of 1104 individuals. There were 348 illness episodes among them. Information about the type of illness, treatment and health facility utilization were gathered for these illness episodes. About 51% of the reported illness episodes were treated by private doctors. Prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) cases was 12 / 1000 persons. Although 95% of the respondents claimed to know about TB, their knowledge about the causes of TB did not reflect a very high level of awareness. Responding to a multiple answer question, only 46% of the respondents incriminated germs, 80% linked it to smoking, 76% to alcohol and 26% linked it to sexual indulgence. Moralistic cultural taboos appear to confound rational knowledge. Cough and blood-in-sputum were identified as major symptoms of TB by 80% and 69% respectively. Social taboo around TB was evident from the fact that about 47% respondents chose to not answer a question about TB among their friends and relatives. Regarding the mode of transmission of TB, 73% identified water, 63% attributed to spit, and only 43% cited the airborne route. Sixty four percent knew that TB is a killer disease, and nearly same percentage of people were aware that it is curable. About local sources of treatment for TB, 22% of the respondents were aware of the PHC, 23% identified Sub Centres, and 21% recognized health workers. When asked about treatment sources outside the village, respondents cited nursing homes (30%), District (28%) and Taluk (26%) hospitals. On Directly Observed Treatment for TB, about 45% of respondents expressed preference to have the drugs distributed in their houses, and another 43% asked for distribution in their village. People preferred to receive the drugs from local volunteers (15%), dais (15%), teachers (15%) or the ICDS workers (10%). For supervision of TB drugs administration people also preferred the local volunteers (40%), teachers (22%), dais (17%) and the ICDS workers (16%). Apparently most respondents preferred local people who are somewhat educated and whom they perceive to be sincere to take up the various functions for DOT. This study was undertaken by ACTION AID, India . Analysis and study report[1] was done by the IHS, in 1997.

[1]George Alex; Srilatha S.People's Perception Towards Directly Administered Anti Tuberculosis Treatment Programme - A Pilot Study. Report prepared for Action Aid India .  IHS Report Series - RP 29/2003, Hyderabad , 2003.


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