26 tuberculosis clinics will be digitised soon

26 tuberculosis clinics will be digitised soon

The 26 tuberculosis clinics in Delhi will soon start maintaining computerised data on the patients.

This will help maintain an efficient database to track patients if they move from one place to another.

This is part of the Centre’s initiative to digitise such database across the country. The programme will be launched on May 15.

“We will have one centre at the block level across the country. But as Delhi does not have blocks, we have a different system,” said Dr Ashok Kumar, deputy director general, Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).

He said Delhi has a high population density and so the administrative division into nine districts cannot be used for the purpose. RNTCP has divided the city into 26 areas called ‘RNTCP districts’.

“In the initial phase, we will have centralised collection of data at these nodal centres. Slowly, we will move to the lower level and collect information at each TB clinic,” said an official.

There are 192 designated microscopic centres for testing TB in Delhi.
Dr Kumar said there is rampant migration within the country, making it tough to ensure complete treatment to an infected person.

In the absence of a complete course of medicines, the possibility of developing resistance is high. Experts say TB is a disease of the poor, and incidence of seasonal migration is high among them.

Recently, Mumbai made headlines after nine patients were detected with multi-drug resistant TB. They are now reported to be responding to drugs.

India reports 15 lakh new cases of TB every year. According to the World Health Organisation, some 73,000 of notified new TB cases in 2010 were already multi-drug resistant. Of these, less than 3,000 were detected.

Dr Kumar said India has to intensify efforts to curb TB. “We need early detection and complete treatment,” he said.

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