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Side-Effect Of Liquor Ban In Bihar: Difficulty In Diagnosing Tuberculosis

न्यूज़ वर्ल्ड इंडिया | 0
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| July 17 , 2017 , 09:43 IST

The ban on liquor may not have been designed to ban medical uses of alcohol, however, in Bihar, the ban on liquor has resulted in a scarcity of ethyl alcohol used to in medical tests to diagnose tuberculosis.

According to a senior health department official, diagnosing TB in Bihar has become significantly more difficult since the ban on liquor last year. As a result, the health ministry has sought special exemption to procure and use alcohol for medical purposes.

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Dr. Jagdish Prasad, director general of health services under the Union ministry of health has written to the principal secretary of the department of health in Bihar, highlighting the importance of alcohol.

Prasad said that prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment is essential for a successful tuberculosis control programme and its diagnosis is made primarily by smear microscopy which uses absolute alcohol.

“With the alcohol ban imposed in Bihar, the laboratories are facing difficulty in procuring alcohol and this has affected the diagnosis of tuberculosis in the state,” Prasad said in the letter.

“In view of the above and in public interest, special exemption for procuring and using alcohol and spirit for uninterrupted diagnostic services under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) is required,” he said.

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“Bihar government should abolish ban on the use of alcohol and spirit specially in laboratories and hospital setups. Alcohol and spirit are used for preparation of reagents for microscopy. This is essential for microscopy test." Prasad continued.

“We urge the government of Bihar to sweep away the ban over alcohol in hospital and laboratory,” he said.

Last year, Bihar witnessed 64,158 cases of tuberculosis in government hospitals.