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War against TB: KMC plans steps to bring down number of patients

Kolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is bringing tuberculosis under its strong surveillance with the aim to bring down the number of patients affected with the disease. "The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared tuberculosis as a notifiable disease. However, doctors dealing with TB patients are not following this. We are sending letters to private doctors and to private hospitals asking all of them to maintain record of TB patients treated by them and inform the KMC and the state Health department about the cases," Member, Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh said.
The KMC's Health department has a database of as many as 976 private doctors in the city. "All druggists are also being instructed to maintain a record of sales of TB medicines. Our team will hold surprise visits and check whether the instructions are being followed," Ghosh said. He maintained that the state government has already come out with a gazette notification declaring TB as a notifiable disease.
Ghosh led a rally spreading awareness about TB from Tangra to Rashmoni Bazar in Beliaghata to mark the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day on Saturday and said such awareness about TB will be held in all the wards of the civic body.
According to a senior official of the KMC's Health department, there was a time when out of 1 lakh population around 217 were diagnosed with TB in the state which was just 2 percent. But in the last three years, the figure has come down to 107 which is 1 percent. "WHO wants to bring it down to 10 by 2035 and we are working in this regard," the official said adding that there are presently 10 clinics dealing with TB patients in the city.
Ghosh added that Khadya Sathi scheme launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ensured food for all and has contributed in bringing down malnutrition to a minimum which is a major cause of the disease.
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