The increasing prevalence of tuberculosis, among children in the State capital and other parts of State, is forcing authorities to sit up and take notice. A new project to identify children with tuberculosis and provide proper treatment to them is being launched by TB authorities in the State.

Coinciding with World TB Day on March 24, authorities have decided to launch a concerted effort and work closely with paediatricians at Government hospitals to support children with TB.

Study

A study to find the estimates of TB infection among children in the State is also being taken up, officials said.

“Knowledge about TB infection among paediatricians is limited. To train doctors, we are organising workshops and seminars in all the districts,” said State TB Officer, Dr. G. Keshav Chander. To begin with, authorities have identified 100 children for treatment

Theme

Apart from the special project for children, health officials have also lined up a slew of new projects to compliment this year's theme –‘Innovate to Accelerate Action' for World TB Day.

“The aim is to combat TB from several fronts so that the prevalence rate, currently at 1.4 per cent of the population, comes down,” said Dr. Chander.

To discourage chemists from dispensing TB drugs without prescription, authorities are collaborating with a noted private organisation, PATH, to launch a pilot project in Ongole. “With this project, we will identify patients at the chemist's shop and refer them directly to Government hospital.

Patients tend to approach medical shops first and chemists give them the wrong combination of TB drug,” the State TB officer added.

The existing Multi-Drug Resistance Tuberculosis (MDRTB) therapy project, which is only being implemented in eight districts, will be expanded to all other districts.

“Patients tend to discontinue the TB drug regimen. Sometimes they visit unqualified private practitioners and are misguided. These are prime reasons for drug resistance TB,” he added.