Rajeshwar Tiwari, IAS, Principal Secretary, Health, Medical & Family Welfare, Government of Telangana, today inaugurated a three-day RNTCP National Review Meeting of State TB Officers and Consultants starting today to August 24.
All the State TB Officers and TB consultants from the entire country are attending the review meeting. in his inaugural address, Rajeshwar Tiwari said the Government and the private sector should work in tandem such that the TB control services reach all the needy TB patients. He said continuous research will help in identifying and addressing the gaps in TB. He said Zero TB Deaths should be the motto for the TB control program.
Dr Dharma Rao, Joint Secretary, NACO stressed on close collaboration between the HIV and TB control programs. He said use of technology and intensive supervision at the grassroots level is key for the success. He said Government of India is initiating the TB surveillance studies shortly.
Dr Sunil Khaparde, Deputy Director General, Central TB Division, Government of India informed that shortly the program will be introducing shorter duration of treatment down to nine months from the present two years for the drug resistant TB cases. He said this will help in better treatment adherence. Dr Sunil Khaparde said the TB control program is adopting the latest technologies with regard to the diagnosis of drug resistant TB. He informed that in a major initiative from the Government of India about 500 rapid diagnostic machines for diagnosis of drug resistant TB are being supplied to all the districts of the country.
Dr Ch. Surya Prakash, Joint Director (TB), Telangana informed that the program in Telangana is providing double nutrition to the pediatric TB cases. He also informed that the services for the rapid diagnosis of drug resistant TB is available in all the districts of the state. He said the machinery is supplied by the Government of India costing approximately Rupees Twenty Lakhs and also said the same diagnosis costs more than Rs.2,000/- in private diagnostic centers.
Dr Y Lalitha Kumari, Director of Health, Telangana, Dr.Salhotra, Addl. Deputy Director General, Central TB Division, Dr.Anurdha Mendoju, Regional Director, DGHS, GoI, Dr.A Sreenivas Nair, WHO, National Program Officer (TB), , other senior officials from state and central Government, State TB Officers from all the states of the country and TB consultants were present. (NSS)