Ground work contributed to reduced TB rate

The sustained efforts of the block-level supervisors under the revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) seem to have paid as the rate of TB infection per lakh has come down significantly.
Ground work contributed to reduced TB rate


According to a recent data released by the Centre, 203 persons out of one lakh population have TB in India and it had reduced from 400 per one lakh population. TB is one of the communicable diseases and it spreads from one person to another person mainly through air. Persons of all ages are susceptible for TB and according to World Health Organisation (WHO), 2.2 million people in India are affected with TB. Though the total number of TB patients are the highest in India, the proportion of cases to the total population had decreased considerably. 
The main reason is the appointment of block-level supervisors. Earlier a supervisor was allotted three or four blocks to carry out TB medication and it proved to be a tough task. But, in the past three years, the government had appointed one supervisor per block and this had resulted in enhanced performance by the supervisors. 
Now the supervisors are able to target the TB patients and are able to serve them effectively. Speaking to DTNext , Abdul Rahim Heera, senior treatment supervisor under RNTCP, claimed that the details of the patients would be given to them by the district headquarters government hospital. Then the team would start tracking the patient. If the patient does not come for treatment, supervisors would go on a door call and give medicines. 
The treatment varies from six months to two years. The initial term of the treatment would be for six months. If the disease does not subside in the period, then it would be increased to a nine-month programme. Even after this extension, if the disease continued to remain active then the patients would be subjected to multi-drug resistant TB programme. 
Under the programme their sputum would be collected and sent for test to the National Institute for Research in tuberculosis at Chetpet in Chennai. The centre would specify medication for the patients. The block level supervisors have played an important role in containing the spread of TB as they had developed thorough knowledge about the patients in their block and if there is any problem they would visit the patient and would medicate them on time, said Heera.

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