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Drive to detect active TB cases underway in Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad

Among the high-risk population that have been identified for the exercise include migrant workers, slum dwellers, construction workers, brick kiln workers, jail inmates, labour force at mines and industries, among others.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: November 17, 2021 2:27:37 pm
Drive to detect active TB cases underway in Pune, Pimpri ChinchwadState TB officer Dr R S Adkekar said that the drive is underway across districts and will continue till November 25. (Express Photo)

With the aim of eliminating tuberculosis (TB) by 2025 — a goal set under the national strategic plan of the Central TB Division, Maharashtra has launched its active case finding campaign to detect the infectious disease among the state population.

The target is to cover 1.7 crore people and vulnerable groups. Among the high-risk population that have been identified for the exercise include migrant workers, slum dwellers, construction workers, brick kiln workers, jail inmates, labour force at mines and industries, among others.

State TB officer Dr R S Adkekar said that the drive is underway across districts and will continue till November 25. “Our objective is to break the chain of transmission and eliminate TB by 2025. Last year we were able to detect 1.6 lakh new cases of TB and this year we have already crossed that figure. We are trying to reach out to vulnerable groups and detect new TB cases,” Dr Adkekar told The Indian Express.

The target for eliminating TB by 2025 across the country entails 80 per cent reduction in TB incidence (reduction from 217 cases per lakh in 2015 to 44 cases per one lakh in 2025) and 90 per cent reduction in TB mortality (reduction from 32 deaths per lakh to three deaths per lakh). Active case finding requires systematic screening and clinical evaluation of persons who are at high risk of developing TB, such as contacts of someone who was diagnosed with TB.

Vulnerable groups, hence, have been identified, said Pune city TB officer Dr Vaishali Jadhav adding that their target was detecting 4.9 lakh cases . “We have also written to hotel and restaurant owners so that sputum samples can be collected from their workers,” Dr Jadhav said. “People with HIV will also be tested. Over 250 teams are presently engaged in door to door visits so that suspect TB cases can be identified and sputum can be collected and sent for tests. Preventive therapy will be given free of cost”

In Pimpri Chinchwad too, city officer Dr Balasaheb Hodgar said that the active case finding campaign was underway. “The first drive is from November 15-25 and the second one was planned between December 13-23. We are checking for symptoms like cough for more than two weeks, mild recurring fever, weight loss, lumps in the the throat and neck and chest pain among others,” Dr Hodgar said. The target in Pimpri Chinchwad among the identified vulnerable groups is approximately three lakh. “60 teams are already functional and include national tuberculosis elimination programme staff, accredited social health activists and others,” he added.

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