Chennai

Pharmacies, labs to send TB alerts

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Part of Corporation’s efforts to monitor patients and eliminate the disease

The Chennai Corporation is engaging pharmacies and laboratories to improve notification of tuberculosis patients in the private sector. This way, they plan to check if patients, who approach laboratories for TB testing or pharmacies for TB drugs, are registered in NIKSHAY, a web-based system for monitoring TB patients.

Efforts are being chalked out to achieve the country’s goal to eliminate TB by 2025, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals. The Chennai Corporation, as part of ‘TB Free Chennai Initiative,’ has taken a number of efforts. It is focussing on improving the TB case notification in the private sector. It has engaged Public-Private Mix (PPM) coordinators, who are appointed for the Revised National TB Control Programme, to sensitise private practitioners to notify cases. “TB is a notifiable disease as per the Public Health Act, and we want to get notification from all sectors that includes pharmacies and laboratories. The aim is to improve TB case notification. In fact, we have made an improvement in the last few years, and we want to be able to reach out to all cases,” an official said.

For this, the Corporation is coordinating with the drugs control administration, drug inspectors and pharmacies in the city. “The Drugs Controller sends us details on the TB drugs sold. We check for details of patients who approach pharmacies for TB drugs, using their prescriptions to see if they are already registered in NIKSHAY or are new patients,” the official said.

Cases notified

Through this day-to-day real time notification, the local body was able to get a significant number of cases notified in two months. “Next, we will be coordinating with laboratories association. We will have a meeting with them soon. As in the case of dengue and H1N1 influenza when laboratories send reports, they will notify TB too,” the official added.

In addition, the Corporation is also involving NGOs to create awareness among the community to reduce the stigma attached to TB. They had called for requests for proposals for community participation through NGOs.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:04:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/pharmacies-labs-to-send-tb-alerts/article26526004.ece

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