Contributory factors of Tuberculosis
TB was mainly ignored in the Aboriginal population and it was partially due to unawareness and in part to selfishness with Aboriginal people’s health care funding (Douglas, 2013, p. 158). This goes to show that TB became rampant as these people do not have the support that can help them prevent the occurrence of TB. Aside from lack of funding, there are other aspects that lead to the prevalence of TB among the Aboriginal population and these are; direct contact with individuals with unmanaged active TB, overpopulated area, inadequately ventilated housing, food insecurity, other conditions like diabetes or HIV and smoking (Government of Canada, 2019). Through this, it really made a great impact in the lives of Aboriginal people, their poor status made it even difficult for them to live a better life as they are still struggling in making a difference in their way of life. Moreover, because of the insufficient health care facilities, poverty, extremely crowded housing, and the remoteness of many groups, the illness continues undercurrents in the Aboriginal people (Douglas, 2013, p. 160). Because of these determinants of health, there are more possibilities that this illness will spread in the whole community as there is not much treatment and support given to the Aboriginal people. As per Lonnroth et al., (2010), some health determinants boost the amount and length of infection exposure, while others may decrease the immune system of an individual, reducing the probability of infection (as cited in Health Canada, 2012).
Treatments, Diagnosis and Nursing implications of TB
Until the 1970s, Sanatoria have been the recommended technique of treating TB. It was thought that the illness could be regulated and reduced more efficiently by isolating clients and managing the environments (Douglas, 2013, p. 157). As future psychiatric nurses, it is important that we educate the Aboriginal people about the signs and symptoms of an individual with tuberculosis such as coughing for more than two weeks, coughing up phlegm and sometimes blood, lack of energy and chill (Government of Canada, 2019). Through this, they will be more aware and have a better understanding of this sickness. Furthermore, it is vital for us to explain to them that TB is preventable and curable and there is diagnosis provided to further detect TB like tuberculin skin test, blood work, sputum testing and chest x-ray (Government of Canada, 2019). Moreover, when an individual has a TB infection, antibiotics may be provided to avoid TB from becoming active. This can take up to 9 months for the therapy. Taking all medicines correctly is very crucial (Government of Canada, 2014). They must be handled with antibiotics if they have TB illness to destroy all the germs and heal TB. Treatment generally requires 6 to 9 months to complete. TB medicine is generally provided by a qualified health care worker who watches every dose of medication that should be taken, this is known as Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) (Government of Canada, 2014). Through this, TB will be controlled and manage, as long as we educate the Indigenous people to be compliant with the treatment plan, they will have a better outcome. In addition, as nurses, when we work with Aboriginal people, we can teach them to speak about their own probability of TB with their healthcare provider, they should have knowledge about TB and know the disease symptoms and be conscious themselves and others (Government of Canada, 2014). If you have illness symptoms, you will be inspected as quickly as possible. The faster you find and treat tuberculosis, the less it can transmit to your friends and family, and the better opportunity you have for proper treatment option (Government of Canada, 2014). Furthermore, it is also good to share information about tuberculosis with your family, friends and to the community as TB can impact anyone, but with the right medications TB can be cured (Government of Canada, 2014). Through this, Aboriginal people will be well informed about this illness that may possibly affect them. Additionally, according to Dr. Banerji, the treatment for TB requires a lot of time so once you find out what is susceptible to TB in a patient, it sometimes requires to be handled over a lengthy period of time with three or four distinct antibiotics as it is a slow-growing organism. It can also be more difficult to do in the North, particularly if it includes patients returning to isolated nursing stations or shipping drugs to remote places (as cited in Hogan, 2019). With regards to this, there is a challenge to be treating Aboriginal people living in remote areas as there is always a delayed treatment.