In a significant achievement in the National TB Elimination Programme(NTEP) District Srinagar has been selected for the Gold Award among few other Districts in the country.
The selection for Gold Award has been made by the Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Government of India.
In its efforts to eliminate Tuberculosis globally, United Nations & WHO kept 2030 as target year which has been revised by India to elimination by year 2025 keeping in view the robust TB elimination mechanism in the country. In order to certify TB Elimination in the country, sub national certification (SNC) mechanism was adopted involving the central TB division of ministry of health and family welfare, WHO, ICMR-NIRT and IAPSM who worked on it since 2020.
District Srinagar has claimed for the first time for TB elimination this year under the sub national certification (SNC) for TB elimination and progress towards TB-free status initiative and based on its robust mechanism district Srinagar has been selected for Gold Medal in view of around 50% decline in TB patients. The number of TB patients in Srinagar district decreased significantly in both the public and private sectors. Due to improved screening programmes like Active Case Finding (ACF) and Contact Tracing in response to the implementation of TB Preventative Therapy and Har Ghar Dastak, the number of TB patients fell to 44 per lac population by 2022 from 84 per lac in 2015. There has been a 335% growth in the Number needed to test (NNT) to get a single TB patient, going from 11 in 2015 to 48 in 2022. The TB score has increased to 72.83 in 2022 which is substantial and closer to the elimination target.
The SNC verification teams’ qualitative analysis and survey findings also showed a considerable decline in the number of TB cases in district Srinagar. The survey teams from district tuberculosis centre (DTC) Srinagar have not yet received a single report of a TB case, despite the fact that more than 10,000 households were visited at random as part of the mandatory household visits for detection of TB cases in the community during this round of sub national certification for TB elimination.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Mohammad Aijaz Asad said: “The quantum improvement in drive against Tuberculosis is primarily driven by better access to diagnostic, public-private partnership and priority of the government to make treatment available to majority of patients. A multi-Sectoral and community led approach has been the key over past few years to achieve the desired outcomes. A number of Chemist shops have also been notified for easy access to drugs for the patient undergoing treatment against TB”.
Aijaz further said that the digital platform of Nikshay Mitra has revolutionized the way tuberculosis (TB) patients receive care and support from the community. This has also led to de-stigmatisation of the TB in the society where patients are coming forward on their own to seek medical treatment and social support.