India is a vast country with the power of a billion people but is faced with a surprising dichotomy. On one hand, the country has cutting edge of medical facilities comparable to the best in the world and at the same time, we are also at the cusp of a public health cataclysm with a paucity of medical infrastructure to tackle Tuberculosis. Medanta has chosen to cap this gap by spearheading Mission TB Free Haryana, under the aegis of Call to action for a TB-Free India by the Government of India. Towards this cause, Medanta has committed two mobile vans fitted with a digital chest X-ray and CB - NAAT machines and other diagnostics that would visit a different Primary Health Centres, run by the government, once a week, in five districts in the Haryana hinterland. The team then administers chest X-Rays to patients suspected of having Pulmonary Tuberculosis.
Initial TB screening is conducted by sputum microscopy, available at the designated Microscopy Centres of RNTCP which can only detect 50% of pulmonary TB cases. The only way to control the large number of false negatives in the Sputum tests is to follow up the Sputum test with a chest X-Ray of the patient. Since PHCs in India are ill-equipped to conduct or meaningfully interpret X-Rays, Medanta's initiative fills the gap in the screening by sending specially modified Mission TB X-Ray Vans to the PHCs on a rotational basis. The districts to be covered in the first phase of the project include Rewari, Gurgaon, Mewat, Palwal and Jhajjhar.
With the help of these mobile vans, doctors have been screen up to 50 people every day. X-rays administered by the mobile van can diagnose suspected patients for TB almost immediately after they have been screened. The district TB doctors (DTOs & MOTC) then confirm the results and refer appropriate patients for Genexpert (CB-NAAT) testing. If the diagnosis is confirmed, the patient is then counselled to start treatment at the nearest Primary Health Centre (PHC) as soon as possible.
Mission TB-Free Haryana is a collaborative effort between Medanta - The Medicity, the Government of Haryana, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) and the Central TB Division of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The US Richard R. Verma, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and Haryana Chief Minister Shri Manohar Lal Khattar had publicly extended their support to the mission in a formal unveiling in December 2015.
Stressing on the need for improved case findings for TB, Naresh Trehan, CMD - Medanta said, "About 50% of patients with pulmonary TB go undetected in India currently. The rise of the drug-resistant strain has made the situation even worse. Social stigma, lack of awareness and inadequate medical facilities further aggravate the problem. This screening programme aims to guide patients about their status and encourage them to start treatment for TB as soon as possible. This will help reduce the spread of the disease."
Medanta - The Medicity is one of India's largest multi-super specialty institutes located in Gurgaon. Founded by eminent cardiac surgeon Dr. Naresh Trehan, the institution aims to bring to India the highest standards of medical care along with clinical research, education and training. Spread across 43 acres, Medianta includes a research center and a medical and nursing school. It has 1,250 beds and over 350 critical care beds with 45 operation theatres catering to over 20 specialties. Medanta houses six centers of excellence.
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