The Department of Health of ASCIM has been battling tuberculosis for many years already. Many intents have gone into minimizing the harm done by this sickness. In the early years the primary goal was to minimize its mortality rate. The next goal is to prevent the infection of new patients with tuberculosis.
The primary goal that has not been met yet is to totally eradicate the sickness of tuberculosis. This is the reason that efforts are now being put into preventing new cases of the sickness. It is therefore very important to not interrupt the treatment of a tuberculosis patient and so prevent the death of a patient that has tuberculosis.
Letting numbers speak: in the early years of ASCIM about 10% of indigenous population suffered from tuberculosis. Today that number is 0, 2% of the population. The program that was started many years ago has had success. The sickness is still present, but compared with earlier years it has diminished and therefore is easier to control. This doesn't mean we can let down our guard and diminish precaution measure; we are always on the lookout for new cases of tuberculosis in order to treat them right from the beginning.
Within this framework of fighting against tuberculosis the Department of Health of ASCIM keeps a tight relationship with the national tuberculosis program. They provide all the medications, as well as the equipment for the investigations and the lab tests needed. The right treatment for a tuberculosis patient takes at least six months and, in some cases, two years. During this time, patients must regularly take a mix of up to four different types of antibiotics. Since tuberculosis is not a sickness that necessarily must be reported, data must be gathered monthly in the office of the National Department of Health of Boquerón.