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Medanta Accelerates Efforts for Mission TB Free India

With an aim to galvanize private hospitals from across Delhi-NCR to contribute to the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP), and expand the impact of Mission TB Free India, Medanta – in association with The Union, under the guidance of Central TB Division, MoHFW – organized a multi-stakeholder event engaging private hospitals and state health officials. As part of the programme, deliberation was held with Apollo Medical College, Yashoda Super Specialty Hospital, Amrita Hospital and stakeholders from a number of other hospitals. They were encouraged to support the national initiative by adopting the ‘Active Case Finding’ model of TB detection that has been championed by Medanta over the years. Towards the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan, Deputy Director General of Central TB Division, MoHFW, Mr. Rajender P. Joshi, announced the private hospitals’ engagement program in the presence of Dr. Naresh Trehan (Chairman and Managing Director, Medanta), Dr. Anand Jaiswal (Senior Director) and Dr. Bornali Datta (Director) from the Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Medanta, Gurugram. The event was also graced by Dr. Kuldeep Sachdeva (Regional Director – SE Asia, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases). The objective of this engagement program is to encourage private hospitals to actively contribute to TB screening and assist the state in bridging the gap in TB care services. This will further strengthen the robust NTEP that works to detect TB in unscreened population pockets, and establish linkages between identified patients and government treatment services. Using Medanta’s active-case finding methodology, its community health workers and village-level grassroots health workers (ASHAs) regularly conduct door-to-door screenings to detect individuals at potential risk. For on-spot diagnosis, they use sputum analysis, digital chest X-ray and an artificial intelligence-based tool (Qure.AI) followed by a highly-advanced confirmatory molecular-diagnostic test (GeneXpert). All these diagnostic facilities are available in dedicated mobile vans that travel to villages as part of the Mission. Confirmed TB cases are referred to government hospitals for initiation of DOTS (Directly Observed Therapy Short) course therapy. The block-level screenings, being done as cluster randomized control trials, have defined an effective model for finding active cases. The initial results have been promising as the team could diagnose 200 patients from four blocks of Karnal in just five months. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Rajender P. Joshi said, “We have made significant progress in strengthening the infrastructure for TB treatment. However, we must recognize that to scale access to therapy, multi-stakeholder models through partnerships with private hospitals are the way forward. Collaboration with Medanta and other private hospitals is a great step towards achieving the national goal of TB elimination by 2025.” Dr Naresh Trehan, Managing Director, and Chairman, Medanta said, “Screening, early detection and treatment play a crucial role in the prevention and management of tuberculosis. Currently, a vast majority of patients go undetected and untreated in India, significantly increasing the disease burden. The private hospital sector can play an important role in the prevention and treatment of TB by taking on a larger, more active role in screening. We are delighted to share our learnings with other private hospitals and scale the TB-Free initiative through widespread adoption of the cost-effective screening model developed by Medanta.”
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