World TB Day
Tuberculosis, an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs, is now much better understood. The disease is preventable as well as curable with proper treatment. Generally, the treatment for active TB takes up to a year of daily antibiotics to help eradicate the infection and prevent complications. Tuberculosis is also common amongst individuals suffering from malnutrition who do not take the necessary nutrients in their daily dietary plans. The first step for someone suffering from tuberculosis is to build their metabolism. Thus, a person with tuberculosis should focus on eating healthy food. A balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can help the body fight the disease better and speed up the recovery process.
Dark, leafy greens: Dark green-coloured vegetables like spinach and kale are highly recommended because of their high iron and vitamin content.
Brightly coloured vegetables: Make sure that you include foods that are rich in vitamin A such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and broccoli. These veggies are packed with pigments and antioxidants that are essential to get your health back on track.
Fruits: Go for fruits that are high in vitamins and antioxidants. This includes lemons, grapefruit, melons, oranges, berries and cherries. Fruits rich in vitamin A (mango, papaya, and mango) and vitamin C (guava, amla, orange, tomato, and lemon) are must haves.
Fish: Choose fatty fish varieties that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. The best options are salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring and flounder.
Khichdi: A hot bowl of khichdi made with rice, dal and seasonal vegetables is one of the best ways to load up on carbohydrate, proteins and all the other nutrients required by the body. It is a complete meal in itself and is easy to digest.
Soyabean: It helps strengthen your immune system which is necessary to fight the TB-causing bacteria.
Paneer: Paneer or cottage cheese can be sliced into small pieces and added to your khichdi or other meals. Paneer is a high source of protein which helps in building muscles and giving your strength.
Milk: This is a magic food. This protein-rich food should top the list as it helps in bringing back the strength and immunity necessary to perform day-to-day activities in a TB patient. For speedy recovery, a patient can drink almond milk as it is light, easy to digest and full of vitamins.
Garlic: In Tuberculosis consumption of garlic is also very beneficial. If two or three buds of garlic are chewed every morning for a month, the disease will totally eliminate from your body.
Coconut Water: Drinking coconut water is beneficial in tuberculosis. Raw coconut is rich in vitamin and minerals.
Green Tea: Green tea drink is highly beneficial in the treatment of TB as it removes toxins from our body very quickly. Minimize consumption of tea, coffee and other substances containing caffeine.
Dry fruits: Different Dry Fruits such as Walnuts, cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins are highly beneficial for a T.B. patient.
Whole grains: Whole grains are rich in vitamin B and fibre which will help keep you energised. These include foods such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat cereal. These will not only help you fill your stomach but also lead to your speedy recovery.
Olive oil: When it comes to eating oily content, it is recommended that the TB patient should choose unsaturated fat such as olive oil instead of saturated fat like butter, ghee as olive oil contains good fat. If olive oil is not available, normal ghee can also be used.
Fresh air & sunlight: Apart from this, breathing in fresh air is good for the person’s lungs. This means that the person should add activities like taking a morning walk in a park/garden to ensure oxygen-rich air is supplied to his/her lungs. Sunlight is a must requirement for TB patient as there is a deficiency of vitamin D in tuberculosis patients, so they should sit in the sun and take vitamin D containing foods. Lie down in the airy room.
Greasy foods: Greasy food such as fried beef, chicken, hot/slap chips and onion rings contribute large amounts of saturated fat. Greasy foods can worsen the symptoms that accompany TB such as fatigue and abdominal cramps.
Coffee: Coffee is a stimulant and should be avoided when you have tuberculosis.
Refined sugars: Refined sugars can encourage bacterial action and should be avoided if you have TB. This means that you need to cut down on your intake of white sugar, refined cereals, sweetened drinks, puddings and other sweet treats.
Red meat: Avoid high fat high cholesterol red meat. Replace this with leaner meats such as poultry and fish.
World TB Day, which is observed on 24 March every year, is designed to raise public awareness regarding the epidemic of TB (tuberculosis) and efforts of eliminating the disease. World Tuberculosis Day was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) to spread knowledge and awareness of tuberculosis, an infectious disease that kills millions every year, mainly in the world’s poorest countries Tuberculosis is easily curable, but it can lie dormant and undetected for years, so it’s important to spread awareness.
The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease. Bill Clinton, the former U.S president, marked the 2000 World TB Day by administering the DOTS (Directly Observed Therapy, Short-Course) recommended by WHO to TB patients.
Today, a network of organisations, CDC and its domestic and international partners, including the National TB Controllers Association, Stop TB USA, and the global Stop TB Partnership are working together to eliminate this deadly disease.
Events are held to spread awareness and raise funds all around the world on World Tuberculosis Day. The theme of World TB Day 2020 is ‘It’s TIME’. This World TB Day, WHO calls on governments, affected communities, civil society organisations, health-care providers, and national/international partners to unite forces under the banner “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB” to ensure no one is left behind. It’s time for action! It’s time to End TB.