Rural areas of Pune, for the first time, will be covered as part of the third round of the central government’s intensive drive to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) from the country by 2025. The drive, which will continue till December 18, will cover 24 districts in Maharashtra. The previous two rounds of the campaign were conducted in January and July this year, during which, over 15,000 more TB cases were detected from across the country.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Deputy Director General of the Central TB Division, Government of India, Dr Sunil Khaparde, said the third round commenced in a majority of states from December 4 and will continue till December 18. Across the country, there are an estimated 28 lakh TB cases,
he added. As part of the third round, he said, a house-to-house survey will be conducted in 189 districts across various states.
On the inclusion of Pune district in the third round, District TB Officer Dr Sunil Pote said a total of 121 sensitive pockets have been identified across 13 tehsils. A house-to-house survey is currently underway that will cover at least 2.8 lakh people. “Early detection and treatment is the key focus of the campaign,” said Pote. He added, “There are 4,000 TB patients in Pune district, while 161 have multi-drug resistant TB and 14 have been detected with XDR (extremely drug resistant TB).”
According to Dr Sanjeev Kamble, joint director of health (TB and Leprosy), Maharashtra, the third phase will see an intensified survey in detecting TB cases among those living in slums, on the streets, old-age homes, as well as prisoners and other vulnerable groups.In Maharashtra, every year nearly 1.30 lakh new cases of TB are detected. There are 5,305 cases of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) and 288 of extremely drug resistant TB (XDR-TB).
“We have 3,400 teams of accredited social health activists, multipurpose workers, among others, to conduct the survey in 24 districts,” he said.
As many as 2,780 new TB cases had been identified in the earlier two rounds, he added.