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Training for physicians to detect early signs of spinal tuberculosis

Special Correspondent

COIMBATORE: The Association of Spine Surgeons of India (ASSI) has teamed up with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to spread awareness among general physicians on early detection of tuberculosis of the spine in children and the need for sustained treatment. Periodical workshops across the country will be held.

President of ASSI S. Rajasekaran told presspersons here on Thursday that it has specifically tied up for a drive through IMA's College of General Physicians. The aim is to educate physicians on early detection of tuberculosis and immediate referral to specialists. “We wanted to make this announcement as part of the World Tuberculosis Day observance,” he said.

The drive would emphasise the detection of deformity in the spine because of the disease. After tuberculosis is cured, the patients will have to be referred to orthopaedic surgeons for straightening the spine that was bent by the disease.

Dr. Rajasekaran, who is Director and Chairman of Department of Orthopaedics and Spine Surgery at Ganga Hospital, said drugs were available to cure people of TB. But, very few of them were advised to consult orthopaedics on correcting the problem in the spine. Empirical treatment for TB was also dangerous as the bacteria could develop resistance to drugs.

“India has many such cases, Dr. Rajasekeran said. The awareness drive would focus on all these issues.

Explaining the need for an intensive drive, he said 20 lakh new cases of TB occurred every year and one-third of these were in India. The disease inflicted a huge economic burden on the country as the non-medical expense was more than the medical.

“This is why we need an intensive drive to pick the signs early and prevent complications,” he said.

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