Nearly 52% of Tuberculosis (TB) patients' relatives were tested positive in a 'break the chain campaign' undertaken by the TB department of the BMC with an aim of eradicating TB from Mumbai. According to the data provided, 7,656 households were screened, of which around 3,950 latent tuberculosis cases were detected since July 2022.
Civic health department to screen people at workplace
Senior officials said they have got good response during the campaign and were able to detect latent TB cases earliest and treatment was started for them. Meanwhile, the civic health department has also planned to screen people at the workplace to detect those who have come in contact with household TB positive patients. Last year in July, the BMC had started screening the close contacts and relatives of TB patients with the help of Interferon Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) testing. This technique helped the civic body to detect latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) among households.
“We have started the treatment of 2,981 latent TB patients who were detected during the campaign, which means nearly 75%. We have been taking several measures to eradicate TB. Moreover, patients are given TB preventive therapy (TBPT) once a week for a total of 12 weeks,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, Executive Health Officer.
Civic body aims for a TB free Mumbai
Meanwhile, under the National Tuberculosis Eradication Program, the civic body had taken the initiative to prevent the TB spread to achieve the goal of a TB-free Mumbai. Under this initiative, the sputum of the close contact or relatives of TB patients were taken and a test report was available within 24 hours.
Senior official on the condition of anonymity said taking the initiative further in finding close contacts of Latent Tuberculosis patients they are planning to visit the workplace of these patients and screened their close contacts whom they are meeting in regular places. “We will be holding meetings with the higher authority and offices regarding executing the plan as it will require a complete team who will be visiting offices for screening. With this initiative we will be able to break the chain of transmission,” she said.
Number of TB cases increased by 13% compared to 2021
Meanwhile, the number of TB cases reported this year is 13% more than cases in 2021. The city witnessed 65,556 TB cases last year compared to 58,221 cases in 2021. Dr Mangala Gomare, BMC executive health officer, said that post-Covid, there has been a rise in the detection of TB cases globally. However, in 2022, the number of TB deaths dropped to 4.56% (2,563) from 5.45% (2705) in 2021.
“Last year, we took up several initiatives for early screening to gauge the gaps of pandemic years. We held camps and appointed TB survivors to counsel patients, which helped in decreasing the dropout rate,” she said.
The WHO, while unveiling the Global TB report last year, stated that an estimated 10.6 million people fell ill with TB in 2021, an increase of 4.5% from 2020.
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