Chandigarh: In a bid to eliminate Tuberculosis from the State by 2025, the Punjab Government has launched the novel initiative of free X-Ray to diagnose suspected TB patients in all the government hospitals of the state. The State Government has in principle also decided to provide the nutritional supplements to the patients of Multi Drug Resistance (MDR) TB free of cost from the state funds.
Disclosing this here today, Health and Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra said that instructions in this regard have been issued to all the civil surgeons to ensure free of cost chest X-ray service to the suspected TB patients. He said that health department has also decided to provide the nutritional supplements to the patients of Multi Drug Resistance (MDR) TB free of cost. He said that soon patients of MDR TB would be provided the fortified nutritional supplement. Also the MDR/XDR patients shall be eligible for getting benefits under Atta-Dal scheme of Punjab and be issued blue cards by the Government.
He said that as TB is contagious disease so in order control the transmission of TB bacteria among the most vulnerable population like Children, Old age citizens, slum-dwellers and diabetic patients, the Punjab Government has initiated the ‘Active Case Finding’ screening programme for earlier detection and treatment of confirmed patients.
Mohindra further said that the primary objective of ‘Active Case Finding’ screening program is to identify undiagnosed TB cases in vulnerable target population. It has already covered that part of population which has not availed health care facilities with or without symptoms or signs of TB and in high risk areas through house visits or target population area setting.
Giving details about the number of confirmed TB patients under the Active case finding screening programme, he said that in district Sangrur, out of the screened 235929 persons and 1407 persons examined for sputum finally 35 patients were diagnosed with TB.
The Health Minister said that in subsequent phases, screening program has been conducted in Faridkot, Mansa, Fazilka, Rupnagar, Tarn Taran and Hoshiarpur in which 857379 persons were screened for symptoms and sputum test was conducted on 5585 persons and finally 212 patients diagnosed with TB.
Mohindra said that it has been decided that now ACF activities will also be conducted in rest of districts Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar and Patiala in month of March and they were instructed to submit micro plan to state head quarter by Feb, 2018.
He said that despite the free treatment of TB at DOT centers, health department has already launched the ‘New daily Drug Regimen Programme’ in all districts of state and as many as 2572 TB patients have been covered under this ambitious programme so that the goal of TB elimination by 2025 can be achieved.