Sixty health officials from northern Kerala have undergone a two-day training in the ‘daily drug regime’ organised by the State Tuberculosis Cell in the city.
The training, concluded on Thursday, was part of the Union government’s decision to roll out the Fixed Drug Combination (FDC) protocol to fight tuberculosis, replacing the existing three-times-a-week treatment method, from January next. The FDC method would be introduced only in Kerala, Sikkim, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar.
P.P. Pramod Kumar, District TB Officer, said the FDC, a combination of two or more active drugs, would replace the conventional DOT (Directly Observed Therapy) method and ensure regular treatment based on the patients’ body weight. Only two to five tablets would be needed to cure the disease under the new protocol. The drugs would be provided free of cost, he said.
Those underwent the training included senior treatment supervisors, TB HIV coordinators, health visitors and officers of various health projects. M. Sunilkumar, Director of the State TB Training and Demonstration Centre, and Shibu Balakrishnan, Medical Consultant of the World Health Organisation, led the training sessions.
Officials said more health staff would be trained before December 30.