The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) public health department will conduct a door-to-door active case finding (ACF) campaign for tuberculosis (TB) control. Starting from August 1, teams will visit households in over 70 areas identified by the civic body and look for people with symptoms of TB.
The civic body’s public health department has a target to cover nearly nine lakh people during this 15-day campaign. BMC has tied up with various NGOs and private organisations working in the field of TB prevention and awareness. “Early diagnosis, early cure is what we are looking at. Our ACF campaign will not only help detect TB patients at an early stage but will also create awareness. We will reach out to a large number of people in over 70 areas identified by our teams across the city,” said Padmaja Keskar, Executive Health Officer, BMC.
The department has formed 373 teams, each team comprising two members, to visit households in areas assigned to them. “This is the second phase of our ACF campaign. During the first phase, we conducted check-ups of around five lakh people in January this year. Now we have a target of covering nine lakh people. As soon as TB symptoms are seen in any person, we will provide them the sputum (saliva) test kit and an e-voucher to get their chest X-ray done for free. We will also register details of these people detected with TB symptoms,” said Dr Daksha Shah, Deputy Executive Health Officer and head of BMC’s TB control cell.
BMC had launched the e-voucher service for TB patients in March 2015. With the help of these e-vouchers TB patients can avail free treatment at government and private clinics and get chest X-ray, drug resistance test, and first line TB treatment free of cost.
As per the data of the health report released by NGO Praja on July 12, around 18 Mumbaikars die of TB every day. The report also pointed out that the number of people in the city dropping out of the rigorous TB treatment was 9 per cent in 2012, and has gone up to 19 per cent in 2016.
While the NGO claims there is a serious problem with the implementation of TB control programme of the civic body, TB cell chief Shah said, “A public health programme implemented on such a large scale cannot be analysed through such randomly collected data.”
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