BMC flags off door-to-door survey for tuberculosis and leprosy

Starting Tuesday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) flagged off a door-to-door survey to screen estimated 50 lakh, people, for Tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy across Mumbai. Teams of BMC health workers conducting the survey are expected to cover high-risk population and densely populated and congested areas, are also carrying pulse oximeters and Thermal temperature guns to check for Covid-19 symptoms.

The campaign that flagged off on Tuesday began from Kamgar Nagar- 1 in Prabhadevi area of BMC's G (South) ward (Worli, Prabhadevi, Lower Parel).

The special 16-day long drive aims at creating awareness among citizens about this contagious diseases besides conducting the door-to-door screening, said BMC officials. Under this door-to-door drive over 50 lakh, people from more than 12.12 lakh households located in severely affected areas in the city will be surveyed and screened for TB and leprosy by 3,451 teams of BMC health workers.

Even as the BMC had carried out a similar survey last year, the need for another survey is acute this year as Covid-19 has adversely affected the number of people seeking treatment.

"Pandemic and Covid-related priorities have severely affected the detection and treatment of other communicable diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy across the city. Registrations of TB patients have dropped by at least 40% this year, as compared to previous years. Considering that we have initiated this drive," said a senior BMC official.

BMC officials said that in 2019 there were more than 58,000 cases of TB, while 453 cases of leprosy were detected between April 2019 and March 2020. However post lockdown, the numbers dropped drastically. While 29,512 TB cases were reported between January and November, for leprosy only 62 cases were reported between April and November.

BMC's Additional municipal commissioner (Health) Suresh Kakani has appealed to the citizens to co-operate with the BMC health worker and volunteers who will visit their households between 9 am and 4 am till December 16.

Kakani said, "If any suspected TB patient is found during the door-to-door primary screening, the person will be asked to go for an X-ray and a Swab test. These tests will be carried out at civic-run or government authorised laboratories. The person will be given medicines for free meanwhile those suspected to have leprosy will be sent to nearby dispensaries or hospitals."

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