Brahm Mohindra Health & Family Welfare Minister, Punjab today announced that TB menace would be totally eliminated from the state by 2025 and to achieve this goal, Punjab Government has in principal decided to provide nutritional supplements to the patients of Multi Drug Resistance (MDR) TB, free of cost from the state funds. Besides, Punjab has also been providing free diagnostic and treatment services to the entire population. Mr. Brahm Mohindra was delivering his keynote address after inaugurating the National Review Meeting of RNTCP at Hotel Hyatt Residency Chandigarh. The meeting was organized by Central TB Division (CTD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and World Health Organization, India.Health Minister stated that state has taken several initiatives to strengthen RNTCP and Government is fully committed to achieve the goal of total TB elimination by 2025. He mentioned that under the stewardship of Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Department of Health and Family Welfare has launched a number of schemes to provide quality health services to the citizens. He said that Punjab has been providing free diagnostic and treatment services to the entire population. He mentioned that Punjab, being a progressive state has full potential to lead the crusade against TB menace.
Speaking on the challenge of multi drug resistance (MDR) TB, he stated that poor nutrition is one of the factors effecting success of treatment of MDR TB which is less than 50% in India. He declared that the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab has in principle taken decision to provide nutritional supplement to the patient of MDR/XDR TB through state funds. He also stated that MDR/XDR patients will be issued blue cards to enable them to get subsidized ration under Atta-Dal scheme of Government of Punjab.The Central TB Division (CTD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India was represented by Dr. Sunil Khaparde, Deputy Director, CTD, Mr A K Jha, Financial Advisor to MoHFW, Government of India and Dr. V S Salhotra, Additional Deputy Director, CTD.Dr. SundariMase, Medical Officer-TB, Dr. Malik Parmar-NPO-DRTB, Dr. Ranjani-NPO-Lab and Dr. A Srinivas, National Professional Officer, were present from WHO India Office.Dr. Khaparde stated that TB elimination by 2025 is one of the highest priority program being monitored by Office of Prime Minister.
He emphasized the need to detect and put on treatment the missing cases, which usually remain hidden among vulnerable populations due to lack of awareness of access to health services. He mentioned that India is moving from alternate day regimen to daily treatment regimen from October 2017.Mrs. Anjali Bhawra, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare stated that by addressing the challenge of case notification and detection of new cases which are usually missed and putting them on standard treatment, the state will surely achieve the goal of elimination of TB.Mr. Varun Roojam, MD, NHM stated that to identify all cases of TB, involvement of private sector is critical. He urged the private practitioners to notify all cases of TB diagnosed by them.Mr. BrahmMohindra also administered pledge to all the participants for doing consistent and relentless efforts for achieving the goal of TB notification.He flagged off an audio-visual van scheduled to travel to all 22 districts of Punjab in period of one month going to all district hospitals, Sub-divisional hospitals and selected CHCs/PHCs creating awareness about TB and screening for suspected TB patients.Dr. Rajiv Bhalla, Director Health Services, Punjab delivered the welcome address and thanked the participants.