Kerala

Special drive to account for ‘missing’ TB cases

Officials to visit pharmacies today and take stock of drugs register

Even as Kerala’s initiatives to ensure that all tuberculosis (TB) patients treated in private sector are being offered the free drug regimen of Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) and are followed up have been yielding good results, the Health Department is casting the net wide so that every case outside the system is accounted for.

While case notification from the State’s private sector has improved and more patients being treated in the private sector are now being put in the RNTCP drug regimen, a certain number of TB cases continue to go “missing”, it is believed.

In an effort to ensure that every case is accounted for the Health authorities have decided to launch a one-day intensive drive on Tuesday across all TB units in the State. The designated teams of officials will visit pharmacies and take stock of the Schedule H1 drugs register.

The idea is to ensure that the names of all patients, to whom TB drugs were sold on the basis of private prescriptions, also figure in the list of TB cases notified by the State in the Health Ministry’s TB notification network, NIKSHAY.

TB is a notifiable disease in the country since 2012.

In 2013, the Centre included all anti-TB medicines, including first-line drugs, under a new schedule (H1), which specifies that these drugs must be sold only on a prescription by qualified medical practitioners and that the pharmacist must maintain a record of the drugs sold, details of the prescribing doctor and the patient. Since 2016, Kerala has been closely monitoring the sale of anti-TB drugs in the private sector and all pharmacists have been asked to strictly maintain the Schedule H1 register. The district TB officers check these registers regularly and in case any patient’s name does not figure in NIKSHAY, the doctor will be contacted directly and reminded to notify the case immediately.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 3:17:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/special-drive-to-account-for-missing-tb-cases/article29687857.ece

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