Rajasthan govt ropes in chemists to get info about TB patients
The state government, trying to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from Rajasthan, is roping in chemists and druggists in the cause.
The government is conducting workshops across the state to explain their role in the campaign.
“Twenty-eight workshops were organised at various districts for chemists and druggists to compulsorily make entry of TB medicines sold to TB patients in Schedule H1 register and share the detailed information with the health department,” said Dr Ajay Phatak, the drug controller-2 of the health department.
He said there are around 45,000 chemists and druggists across the state who have been asked to give the details of patients taking TB medicines, along with the name of the doctor treating them. “Chemists and druggists play important role in notifying TB patients,” said Phatak, adding that in the last one to one and a half months, chemists have started sharing the details and it is helping in notifying TB patients.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has fixed a target to eradicate TB from the country by 2025, five years ahead of the sustainable development goals. According to the gazette notification issued by the ministry of health and family welfare in March this year, there is a provision of penalty and punishment for not notifying TB patients.
Phatak said after the notification, many private doctors and hospitals have started sharing information about TB patients. “Even druggists and chemists, who want to keep themselves away from notifying TB patients, have stopped stocking medicines for TB,” he added.
Director, Public Health, Dr VK Mathur said the government has been making efforts for notification of TB patients taking treatment from private hospitals and private doctors. As a result, the notification rate in 2015, which was 16 per lakh, has increased to 19 per lakh in 2017.
According to the health department data, in 2017 (January to December), Rajasthan had 1,06,947 TB patients, of which 84,537 TB patients were notified by the government health institutions and 22,410 were notified by the private health facilities. The state has 2,559 multi drug resistant (MDR) TB patients and 190 extensively drug resistant (XDR) TB patients, who are under treatment.
Dr Narendra Khippal, senior professor, Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Sawai Man Singh Medical College, Jaipur, said TB spreads through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit their saliva through the air. Most infections does not show symptoms and is latent, but about one in 10 latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected. “A person with active, but untreated tuberculosis may infect 10–15 (or more) other people per year,” he added.
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