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Epidemiology and policy
SP3-51 Access to TB patients of directly observed therapy (DOTS) during natural disasters in Bihar, India
  1. R Kumar
  1. Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, Pauri, Uttarakhand, India


Introduction This pilot study attempts to look at pattern and problem of adherence to DOTS by TB patient during flooding in Bihar, India.

Methods A cross-sectional survey was undertaken among 21 (female n=9) TB patients who were participating in DOTS and faced the problem of flooding in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar, India. They were interviewed to collect information on age, sex, education, occupation, duration of flooding in the village, discontinuity period due to flooding and other factors, change in DOT provider, and knowledge on importance of continuing treatment using a semi-structured questionnaire.

Results Mean duration of flooding was 92.9 days (SD 32.4). Mean discontinuity period due to flooding was 26.9 days (SD 24.0). In the Fisher's Exact Test, Female TB treatment beneficiaries were found to more affected than males (p<0.005). Following discontinuing DOTS, 3 (14.3%) participants thought that their disease would not be cured, 8 (38.1%) participants thought their TB disease would come back, whereas and 9.5% said they did not know.

Conclusion Although flooding lead to discontinuity in treatment to many of the TB patients on DOTS. This may lead to antituberculosis drug resistance. The finding that females discontinued treatment more frequently than males needs to be highlighted. The TB control programme should look further in to this and take appropriate measures to address the issue.

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