The health department of the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) under the leadership of civic chief Dr Vijay Rathod has detected a total of 224 and 12 patients suffering from tuberculosis (TB) and leprosy respectively, in a fresh survey which was conducted in two phases from 1 to 31 December, 2020.
The MBMC had set up a target to cover a population of around 3.15 lakh, mainly from the 35 slum clusters, densely-populated pockets, construction sites, hamlets and other far-to-reach places to detect patients with communicable diseases like TB and leprosy across the twin-city. However, the 124 two-member teams comprising Asha Workers, Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) and medical volunteers managed to screen 2,89,764 people due to locked homes and refusals at some places, prompting the district administration to launch a re-survey to cover a population of 1,57,741 to achieve the desired target.
Out of the 536 suspected patients only 12 were diagnosed for leprosy. Similarly, 224 patients were diagnosed for TB, including 124 detected by volunteers under the Joint Effort for Elimination of Tuberculosis (JEET) project which aims at speeding up the process of finding, treating and tracking every TB patient in the community till each one is cured so as to achieve the target of eliminating the disease from the country by 2025.
“Earlier our health teams conducted three to four surveys every year to trace communicable and non-communicable diseases. However, the entire health machinery has been engaged in screening, detection and treatment of patients in the battle against the deadly Covid-19 pandemic due to which other communicable diseases such as leprosy and tuberculosis had remained ignored for the past nearly nine months, thus necessitating the urgent need of an intensified and targeted survey to detect and diagnose patients of these two diseases and provide them proper treatment,” said City Tuberculosis Officer (CTO) Dr Balnath Chakor.
1830 drug-resistant tuberculosis (DRTB) and 177 drug-sensitive tuberculosis (DSTB) patients were under medication last year out of which several have been cured after timely treatment.