TB-free Maharashtra: Mumbai civic body to screen 1.2 lakh families in January
About 35,000 new TB cases are reported from the city every yearmumbai Updated: Jan 10, 2018 23:48 IST
After identifying 135 new tuberculosis (TB) patients in Mumbai last year, the municipal corporation’s health department is planning to survey more than 1.2lakh families in January during the first household TB survey of 2018. The aim is to identify undetected TB cases.
About 35,000 new TB cases are reported from the city every year, majority of which are detected after patients visit government health facilities. Officials said household survey is done to identify undetected cases, which can lead to severity of the infection if not treated.
During the survey done between August 1 and 15, 2017, the TB cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) formed prepared 373 teams of volunteers to visit 9.88 lakh households. The teams checked 7.88 lakh Mumbaiites, of which 2,272 were suspected cases of TB. Of these, 125 tested positive after the sputum test — the primary diagnostic tool for the disease.
This year, volunteers will visit households and provide a small container for saliva tests and e-voucher for free chest x-rays to diagnose the infection. Volunteers will also inform those checked about the nearest health post where they can submit the container and get the x-ray done.
“Last year, patients were immediately brought under Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme for treatment. This year, in the first phase, we will check more than 7.2 lakh Mumbaiites and hope that we reduce the number of patients to achieve our goal of a TB-free state,” said Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC.
A senior official from the TB cell said while the increasing number of patients is not a good sign for country’s TB elimination goal, it is important that the patients who are yet to be diagnosed are brought under the treatment programme.
“Once they start receiving treatment, patients not only stop spreading the infection but start marching towards the cure. Moreover, undetected cases or those who have left the treatment in the middle can aid drug resistant TB, which is severe and more infectious,” said the official.