IMA embarks on a mission to fight battle against Tuberculosis in Nagpur

The Indian Medical Association has spelled out its efforts to End TB in ‘Nagpur’ as part of the ‘End TB’ program launched by the Government of India. In addition, IMA will be holding a series of dedicated TB programs for medical professionals across Maharashtra

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Mumbai: The Indian Medical Association (IMA), a national voluntary organization of Doctors of the modern scientific system of medicine has announced various initiatives to achieve the Government of India’s vision to ‘End TB’ as part of a joint collaboration with the Central TB Division, Ministry of Health, Government of India (GoI) to reach out to every private doctor and through them, every TB patient in Nagpur and Maharashtra.

In 2018, total 9853 cases were notified in Nagpur, out of which 5110 notifications were from public health sector and 4743 were from the private sector. The private sector notifications have increased in Maharashtra from 68484 cases in the year 2017 to 267706 cases in the year 2018.

The IMA with the Central TB Division (CTD), GOI has been making joint efforts to expand notification of TB cases by doctors in the private sector, as notification is an important tool to achieve universal coverage and succeed in the fight against the dreaded disease.

Dr Ashish Disawal, President IMA, Nagpur Branch said, “Maharashtra is of the state with the largest number of TB cases in the country. We are working in the right direction to meet the government’s aim to have a TB free India by 2025 and it is essential that we utilise resources at our disposal like the NIKSHAY app to achieve this end. The IMA is working rigorously to inform private doctors to notify cases of TB that come to their clinics. They will also find the support required to ensure their patients complete the treatment under the RNTCP.”

Under the IMA End TB Project, Continuous Medical Education Programmes (CMEs) is being conducted for IMA members for Standards of TB Care in India, to improve notification of TB patients from private providers, establish linkages for expanding diagnosis and treatment in line with standards of care and thereby enhancing the quality TB care to TB patients.

Notification of patients through the NIKSHAY app will enable private doctors to access the various facilities made available by the Government under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) for the benefit of patients seeking care from private sector, including free diagnosis and drugs tests as per the Standard for TB Care in India, as well as the NIKSHAY Poshan Yojana under which every TB patient gets Rs.500/- per month towards nutrition support till completion of treatment.

In Nagpur and Maharashtra, IMA is regularly monitoring TB notifications and all districts have conducted meetings with Drug control officers and Chemist associations. In addition, IMA is taking innovative steps to promote NIKSHAY app and incentives to improve notification from private sector. The IMA is working to galvanize doctors in the private sector to increase notification and work toward the cause of ending TB by optimal utilization of NIKSHAY.

NIKSHAY has been upgraded to a more user friendly version 2.0 that is compatible with both web based and app based platforms. Private doctors can also use other methods including the Government’s call centre at 1800-11-6666 for notification of TB patients and for support and more information. To encourage doctors to use the NIKSHAY app for notifications, the government has also introduced an incentive scheme for doctors – Rs. 500/- on TB notifications and Rs. 500/- on the report of treatment outcome.

In Maharashtra to support the movement to eliminate TB, the State has established 1520 microscopy centres, 117 Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CBNAAT) labs , and 12 Culture and Drug Susceptibility Test laboratories across the districts, which enables diagnosis as well as detection of drug resistance and guides in the treatment. To battle drug resistant tuberculosis, 31 district Drug Resistant TB (DR-TB) centres and 19 Nodal DR – TB centres provide de-centralized availability of TB programme services in all the districts of the state.