According to a Corporation release, a meeting was conducted with WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan to discuss the measures to be taken to identify and treat TB patients. “Chennai Corporation is already identifying TB patients and giving treatment at primary health centres,” the release said.
Presently, 140 primary health centres are providing TB treatment, apart from seven mobile units equipped with X-Ray machines. Awareness against TB is created through social media and handbills.
“Owing to COVID-19 pandemic, rate of identifying TB patients has reduced. During the meeting, a decision has been taken to conduct a door-to-door drive to identify TB patients and persons with symptoms. Also, a decision has been taken to test patients with non-communicable diseases like diabetes and blood pressure for TB,” the release said.
“As a part of the ‘TB-free Chennai’ initiative, a steering committee has been formed with the Chennai Corporation Commissioner, health officers, members of NGOs and others apart from Soumya Swaminathan as members. The committee will meet once in two months,” it added.
The health status of the persons, who are recovered from the disease, should be monitored for two years to find out whether their close contacts contracted the disease.
Presently, 249 persons in one lakh populations have TB as per studies. “TB can be cured completely if identified early. Residents should visit primary health centres if they have a cough for two weeks, fever, weight loss and other symptoms,” the release said.