The cases of tuberculosis are rising in Jharkhand, but the million dollar Global Fund Revised National Tuberculosis Project (GFRNTCP) is virtually lying defunct for the last one year for want of top hands to run it, according to the officials of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) which is responsible for running the project.
Over 34000 to 35000 new TB case are found every year in Jharkhand. Global Fund selected 14 states of India, including Jharkhand for controlling TB. The IMA is the partner of the central government in implementing the project.
In fact, the project came to a standstill after the IMA national body sacked state coordinator BMP Sinha and technical consultant Jyotika Srivastava on charges of alleged laxity in carrying out their respective roles. Without hiring the right officials for the two positions, the project cannot make any headway in the state, officials said.
However, there have been some assurances to fill up the top positions of late. IMA national president Arun Kumar Mehta and secretary general KK Agrawal had assured to fill up the posts in within 15 days on October 2 during a video conferencing with the state doctors.
Sources blamed the state chapter IMA office-bearers for causing the delay. They were supposed to send the two names to the national body for clearance and appointment. But Jharkhand IMA has not done it so far.
IMA Jharkhand chapter president AK Singh on Sunday said it would be done soon, adding that the national body had called for an interview for Jharkhand technical consultant in October last.
“But we opposed that as all the four candidates were from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu who had no knowledge about Jharkhand’s infrastructure and language. We suggested technical consultant from north. The matter was also discussed at Central Working Committee(CWC) meeting at Trivandrum (Kerala) last month”, he said. Singh is also the CWC and central council member of IMA national body.
National coordinator of IMA RNTCP Uttray ( Maharashtra) on Sunday said that programme had not been dumped in Jharkhand as such and said “ in fact, the project is on hold across the nation since October as the central government has not renewed the MoU with the IMA so far. Once MoU is signed appointment project would be activate in Jharkhand”, he said.
The MoU is signed every year to necessitate reimbursement and related funds release.
Last time ( 2013-14), the IMA had released fund over Rs 10 lakh for implementation of the project in Jharkhand. The IMA president said the national body did not release funds to the state in advance but it only reimburses bills.