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					                                                                                     Ind J. Tub 2000, 47, 251

                                            BOOK REVIEW

Pulmonary Tuberculosis - M.P.S.Menon : Popular Science Series of the National Book Trust, India,
New Delhi; Second Revised Edition (1999), Paperback, pages 334, Chapters 12; several line-diagram
illustrations, ISBN 81-239-2810-71; Price Rs.65.
                                                        wish that the epidemiological situation in India had
                                                        been given greater attention than that in Europe and
                                                        made more lucid instead of aiming at comprehen-
                                                             The chapters which follow, on
                                                        “Mycobacterium (the Parasite)” and “Host Features
                                                        and Host Parasite Interaction”, are realty
                                                        comprehensive and informative. Tuberculosis
                                                        workers who may have lost touch with the basics
                                                        could refresh their memory and get updated
                                                        information. In the other routine chapters dealing
                                                        with pathogenesis, pathology, clinical features and
                                                        diagnosis one does come across some unorthodox
                                                        pieces encouraging the reader to pause and ponder.
                                                        For example, in suggesting more organised use of
                                                        some clinical features for facilitating the process of
                                                        diagnosis, the author recommends Forgac’s method
                                                        of precise recording of lung sounds (heard on
                                                        auscultation) in accoustic terms and their
                                                        measurement. Besides, features of disease caused
                                                        by environmental mycobacteria have been given
                                                        prominance and dealt with methodically.
                                                             Chapter 9 dealing with treatment is the
     First published in 1983, the book saw its
                                                        highpoint of the book. Correctly, a start is made
revised edition in 1987. This 3rd edition (1999)
                                                        with evolution of chemotherapy of tuberculosis,
contains new chapters besides the general updating
                                                        bypassing the past treatment practices which have
of the information. Three editions in a short span
                                                        passed into the history. The principles and
of 17 years could be evidence of the popularity of
                                                        procedures of chemotherapy could have preceded
this popular science series medical book. The use
                                                        the detailed description of individual drugs.
of simpler language and relatively more concise
                                                        However, to view treatment from the standpoint of
text aiming at an overview and not many details
                                                        primary infection (sic), presence or absence of
could be the reasons for the popularity.
                                                        symptoms, inactive lesions in adults, etc. or the front
     The first chapter - History-giving a fascinating
                                                        line drugs or others, single drug, 2 drug and multi-
account of how better knowledge about tuberculosis
                                                        drug regimens may be questionable. Various
and its causative mycobacterium gathered over
                                                        aspects of Short Course Chemotherapy have been
almost a century, along with fortitude and foibles      given in a convincing manner.
of those outstanding scientists who contributed to
it, is typical of a text book and hardly of a                 Chapter 10 has rightly been devoted to drug
paperback. Similarly, in the next chapter-              resistant tuberculosis because multidrug resistance,
Epidemiology-even how Seibert purified and              especially MDR-TB, constitutes a major challenge
standardised PPD have been described. One might         today for control of tuberculosis. Strangely, very
252                                             BOOK REVIEW

little attention has been given to HIV/AIDS              mentioned. The sociological and operational aspects
epidemic spreading in the country and the intimate       of NTP introduced in 1962 are not stressed. Nor
connection it has with spread of tuberculosis and        the performance and efficiency indices which
many other opportunistic lung diseases. In fact,         formed the reason why NTP was considered not
these two challenges could have been the main            having performed as pertheexpections. Despite all
reason for bringing out the revised edition.             the care, some errors of omission and commission
                                                         are also to be found.
     The last chapter (12) deals with the tuberculosis
control programme. It is comparatively brief and              All in all, PULMONARY TUBERCULOSIS
looks like an afterthought. The familiar historical      is a handy and useful book which could benefit all
background and comprehensiveness are hard to find.       categories of tuberculosis workers-planners,
The original 5-scheme programme on the lines of          implementors, service providers and supervisors -
the Bhore Committee recommmendations                     and particularly the medical studnets, both
implemented after Independence is not even               undergraduates and post-graduates.

              Dr. Mahendra Prasad ‘Vaishya, Chief Medical Officer of
      the Ramakrishna Mission Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Ranchi
      (Bihar), passed away on 15th August, 2000. Born in 1924, he
      graduated from Patna Medical College in 1947, on the eve of
      Independence. Having held responsible positions in government
      service, he retired in 1973, as Medical Superintendent of Itki
      Sanatorium. It was on his retirement that he joined the
      Ramakrishna Mission Sanatorium, in1986, where he served for
      14 years in the spirit of selfless service which is the motto of the
      Ramakrishna Mission. His passing away would be deeply
      mourned by all those who came in contact with him.

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