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TB Project India- Review Meeting, 18th March, 2014
09.04.2014 - New Delhi, India

The Indian Red Cross Society started the TB Project India in 2009 in 3 states. The project is being implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, State health department and TB Association of India with the aim to increase community awareness on TB, MDR-TB, XDR-TB and TB/HIV through advocacy, social mobilization and dissemination of IEC materials, in addition to advocating against stigmatization and discrimination of TB patients. Further care & support is provided to Cat II patients (patients who had stopped taking DOTS treatment after one month of starting it) till they are cured. This programme has nowbeen extended to 7 states in 2014.

A Presentation on TB Project India at the IRCS NHQ
A review meeting for the TB Project India was held at the multi-conference facility of the Indian Red Cross Society, National Headquarters on 18th March, 2014 under the chairmanship of Dr S P Agarwal, Secretary General, Indian Red Cross Society, which was attended by Dr R S Gupta, Deputy Director General, (TB), Directorate General of Health Services, India and the officials of IFRC and IRCS.

The meeting began with the customary introductions of all those present. A short presentation was made by Dr Raizada, IFRC, about TB Project India that included the details of implementation strategy of the programme as well as a data of TB patients who are enrolled in the programme since 2009 till date. It was brought out that the selection of the patients is done from the list provided by the district TB unit and the competition of treatment and their data is verified by the DTO.

IRCS mobilizes its volunteers who are a part of the community and in turn community ownership helps ensure that the programme is sustainable. The volunteers find out the reasons as to why NSP cases have become cat II in their respective areas; spread awareness about importance of complete treatment and ensure complete adherence to the DOTS treatment. They meet with the local opinion leaders, hold nukkad nataks and mohalla meetings and other meetings at schools & work places to disseminate information regarding detection and treatment of TB.
IRCS volunteers on a door to door campaign for TB

Deliberations on the future strategy for TB Project, India

Dr Gupta, DDG, (TB) Directorate General of Health Services complemented IRCS interventions and appreciated that more than 2000 Cat II patients have been enrolled and have completed their DOTS treatment under the project. He said that it is clear that in case these patients had not completed their treatment, 10-17 percent (at least 200) would have been afflicted by the dreaded multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB.

The treatment of such MDR-TB patients costs more than 2 lakh rupees per patient apart from the trauma to the patient and the fear of its transmission to the community. He stated that the strongest points of the programme were its dietary nutritional supplements to the patients and that many cured patients go on to become volunteers of the IRCS for the community.

The Secretary General concluded the meeting by stating that the IRCS was actively pressing for extension of the programme in other districts and states. He also said that the IRCS may consider taking up all the Cat II patients in particular districts as well as the follow up of the MDR-TB patients.

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