Health dept takes up campaign to strenghten screening for TB
kolkata: In a unique attempt to conduct screening among the family members of bactiriologically confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis (BCPT) patients, the state Health department has taken up initiative of a door-to-door campaign. The Health officials will visit the houses of the BCPT patients and perform Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs) among the family members of BCPT patients. Health department has already prepared a list of BCPT patients after carrying out an elaborate survey throughout the state.
A senior official said IGRA tests will be conducted on the newborn babies and also the senior members of the family where BCPT cases were reported.
Those who will be found positive with tuberculosis will be given free treatment by the Health department. IGRA is a whole blood test that helps in diagnosing infection.
According to health experts, tuberculosis germs exit the patient's body after entering but in some cases the germs do not exit and stay inside the lungs for long. In case of around 5 to 10 patients, the germs can stay forever.
State Health department has already started management of tuberculosis preventive treatment in all 26 districts of Bengal amid Covid pandemic.
The Health department has taken up the programme of Covid management to identify those affected with TB.
This is because TB patients' health conditions may deteriorate fast if they are affected with Covid. According to data, over 1.9 lakh people get affected with TB in Bengal every year out of which 1.7 lakh people are getting direct benefits of health services extended by the government owned hospitals. The State Health department has also mandated TB tests for all the Covid infected patients after they recover from the disease.
The department has already issued instructions to all the government and private Covid hospitals and also to the various diagnostic centers in this regard.