Tuberculosis (TB) continues to remain as one of the major health problems for exile Tibetans in India in general and monks in Sera Jhe Monastery in particular. Unhygienic surrounding, refugee life, low nutritional diets, lack of awareness, stress and change in living conditions from the cold climate in Tibet to hot weather of the Indian subcontinent adds up to factors responsible for high numbers of TB incidence in our community. Poor treatment compliance on the part of TB patients is the factor that account for high incidence of disease.
The TB Control Program of the Committee is implemented in conformity with the treatment guidelines laid down by the WHO and that of the host nation, India. The Hospital serves as the first referral center for patients within the monastery. Our hospital is equipped with basic diagnostic and treatment facilities to deal effectively. To further reduce the spread of TB, isolated TB wards for only monks are planned in the future. At present positive T.B. patients from the monastery are admitted at other Hospitals. The expenditure for their accommodation, medication and special diet are born by the committee. Those who are negative and stationed at the monastery are treated at the committee and offered daily special diet by the committee. As the monks are bound by vow of celibacy, the life styles of the lay people in the wards at other hospitals distract them leading to many unforeseeable problems. The committee has planned to construct separate wards for the TB patients in the monastery in the near future . Special diet and recreational facilities are also other parts of the project.
Sera Jhe Health Care Committee was able to start providing free treatment to the entire TB patients in Sera Monastery from 1st July 1994. By 2009 our health care has successfully treated more than 669 TB patients. Almost all the patients had pulmonary or laryngeal TB. The process of treatment lasts between 6 months to 2 years. With the up gradation of facilities and better treatment there is considerable improvement in reduction of TB cases.
We have Professor M. Sada Dave (MBBS, DMRD, TDD MD) an eminent TB specialist visiting our hospital twice a month especially for the benefit of our TB patients. We have 10 trained voluntary monks who serve the allopathic department in all the departments.