Concerted efforts by State Tuberculosis (TB) Cell is reaping results as the number of TB cases are gradually coming down in Nagarkurnool district since the past two-years. The government statistics also state that the total number of deaths due to the disease has come down in the district. As many as 63 patients had died in the district due to TB in 2016. This year, meanwhile, officials have identified 50 TB patients in Achampeta division. However, the official statistics are reportedly based on the cases reported from government hospitals as there are no details of patients who opted for private hospitals to undergo treatment.
As part of steps taken to prevent, control and treat TB cases, officials are conducting free diagnostic tests for people suspected to have contracted the disease. The patients undergoing treatment are made to undergo tests to learn if their condition has improved or not. While medicines too are provided free of cost to the patients, the drug regimen-given to treat TB is changed from three times a week to daily regimen. To further bring down the number of cases and deaths, the district administration has roped in the services of several civil society organisations to create awareness among the TB patients and encourage them to avail treatment.
NGOs holding awareness camps
NGOs like World Vision India and Aruba Health Project are holding awareness camps in the district. The NGO members are focusing on Chenchu tribals in the district by providing them nutritious food free of cost, which helps in recovering from disease. Coordinator of Aruba Health Project, Vijay Kumar, said that they have provided financial relief to the TB patients.
Playing by the rule book
Non-compliance on part of private hospitals or clinics in reporting TB cases to Public Health authorities could change as people can be jailed if cases are not reported to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, through gazette notification, stated that if a clinical establishment, pharmacist, chemist or druggist fails to notify a TB patient to public health authorities or nodal officer, they ‘might attract the provisions of sections 269 and 270 of Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)’. – New Indian Express