Amitabh Bachchan: Contracted TB ahead of 'KBC' launch in 2000

Amitabh Bachchan on Sunday revealed that he had been diagnosed with tuberculosis ahead of the launch of television game show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' in 2000 but fought back.

Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan Pic/AFP

Bachchan was recently roped in as brand ambassador by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for its campaign against the ailment.

"I was diagnosed with tuberculosis when Kaun Banega Crorepati was to be launched in year 2000. TB can happen to anyone," Bachchan said at the launch of the BMC's awareness campaign: "TB Harega Bharat Jitega" here.

The megastar said he immediately agreed to be part of the campaign because he himself had suffered because of TB.

Bachchan said he felt proud to be associated with the campaign because it is a part of public service to create awareness about the ailment.

"I would feel tiredness and loss of appetite. When I checked with doctors, I was diagnosed with the ailment. The ailment can be treated and one does not need to stop daily routine. I worked on KBC without ny problem," the actor recalled.

Bachchan said he has the resources for getting medical treatment in foreign countries after the life-threatening injury on sets of Bollywood movie 'Coolie' (1983). "But I have faith in doctors here and I recovered," he said.

Bachchan said the anti-polio campaign he was part of culminated after eight years with eradication of polio in the country.

"The need of the hour is to keep the country polio free," he added.

In his address, state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said 'Clean India mission' is possible only if people whole-heartedly participate in it.

"The root of all ailments is uncleanliness," he said. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who was also present on the occasion, said active participation of people is required in the campaign against tuberculosis.

"TB Harega, Bharat Jeetega" campaign features multimedia content to highlight key messages for prevention and control of the ailment through television, print, radio, internet and outdoor media.

It highlights steps that need to be taken for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB.

Bachchan, who will be the voice and face of the campaign, will highlight the urgency of tackling the challenge to defeat TB.

BMC Commissioner Sitaram Kunte said TB was a highly contagious airborne disease.

"TB infects approximately 2.3 million people in India every year and causes 300,000 deaths. In Mumbai, 30,000 drug sensitive cases are detected and in addition to these there are a rising number of multi-drug resistant (MDR), extensively drug resistant and extremely drug resistant TB cases due to improved diagnostic services and increased access to treatment," Kunte said.

As of October 2014, Mumbai has 7,330 registered patients of MDR TB, he said.

"Improving awareness is a key component of the campaign. Prompt and accurate diagnosis and adherence to prescribed course of treatment are essential for successful cure of TB," Kunte said.

Speaking on the occasion, Director General of Health Services (DGHS), Central government, Jagdish Prasad stressed the need for corporates and film industry to adopt one slum at least in Mumbai to work for the TB control and prevention.

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