Early Diagnosing is single way to end Tuberculosis: Balbir Sidhu

Chandigarh, October 17: Early Diagnosing is the single way to end TB and to accelerate the testing procedure of Tuberculosis across the State, the Health Department had installed the 29 CB-NAAT machines at high workload District hospitals and Government Medical Colleges. This hi-tech machine has the capacity to detect TB in just two hours and also detect resistant to anti TB drug rifampicin. It was disclosed here today by Health & Family Welfare Minister Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu in a press communiqué.

Giving details, Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu said that the Punjab Government had set the target to make Punjab TB-free State by 2025. He said that to achieve this target there is need to further introduce new mechanism to diagnose the unidentified patients as fast as possible so that quality treatment would be provided to them at early stage. He said that these CB-NAAT machines proved helpful in treating TB patients and during 2019 till date around 22,272 patients have been tested on these machines for accurate treatment.

Mr. Balbir Singh Sidhu further said that despite the higher curable rate of 89 percent of TB patients in Punjab, the state government had taken many initiatives to combat this communicable disease. These initiatives include ‘Active Case Finding Campaign’ to identify the suspected TB patients in high risk areas. He said that to break the chain system, Active Case Finding (ACF) was done in campaign mode in September, 2019 under which 27,55,189 persons were screened and 302 patients diagnosed with the TB disease. “Under this campaign, health personnel visited each and every household to find out any suspected TB case in high risk areas of cities and villages. He added that after detecting the symptoms of TB, the patients are referred to nearest health facility for free diagnostic including Chest X-Ray, sputum examination and treatment.

The Minister further said that TB is contagious disease and it easily targets the old aged persons and mal-nutrition children. He also said that it was on record that in many cases, even the healthy persons were also suffering from TB who intentionally ignored their cough for long time and later they were diagnosed with severe stage of TB. He said that precaution and having healthy and nutritious foods with proteins make our body naturally robust and it would make us strong to fight with communicable diseases like TB.

He also said that diagnose and treatment of unidentified TB patients at DoT Centres is one of the foremost practical method and by using it we should certainly make our State TB-Free and safe for our coming generations.

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