3,000 TB patients in need of nutritional support: PMC
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) health department has identified 3,000 tuberculosis (TB) patients from the city limits and aims to provide them with nutritional support under the ‘End TB by 2025’ campaign of the central government.
TB is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and often affects the lungs. The bacteria that cause TB are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms of TB include cough (sometimes blood-tinged), weight loss, night sweats and fever.
There are 11 TB wards under PMC which admitted 3,871 patients this year and reported death of 56 patients. About 363 cases were detected in July itself. Last year, there were 7,237 patients tested positive for TB and 385 lost their battle against it.
Every year, 2.7 million new TB patients are found in India, and 0.41 million patients die every year. The Indian government has pledged to eradicate TB by 2025. Every year 0.5 million TB patients go undetected who become tools in spreading the diseases. Detection of TB impacts the work of many patients as they are forced to stay home. Holistic coordination of various stakeholders is important in addressing the issue.
Dr Prashant Bhote, city TB officer, PMC, said that many patients struggle with getting the right nutrition. PMC is urging citizens and NGOs to cover nutrition expense of these patients for at least a year.
“Every patient is given at least ₹500 per month to cover nutrition. However, there is a need to support patients with flour, fruits, eggs and milk on a monthly basis. The expenditure of these roughly amounts to ₹1,050. We urge citizens and NGOs to come forward and adopt these patients,” said Dr Bhote.
Dr Ashish Bharti, PMC health chief, said, “We urge institutes to use their CSR funds to provide social, professional as well as economical help to TB patients. For this, the government has developed ‘Nikshay Sathi Application’ and identified patients who need community support. Individuals can reach out through WhatsApp number 7821964491 and email@example.com,” said Dr Bharti.
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