Chennai, July 2 (IANS) The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) on Monday launched an eight-week online certification course to train doctors across the country treating patients with Tuberculosis (TB), a disease with an estimated incidence figure of 2.79 million cases in India.
The course, in partnership with National Institute of Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT), would sensitise doctors both in the public and private sector to the standards of care and the new guidelines and developments in the modern management of TB.
“We believe that this is the first course of this nature addressing a specific disease of public health importance in India. We hope that it will benefit doctors treating TB patients and help them to offer care of a higher order to their patients,” Prof. Andrew Thangaraj, NPTEL coordinator at IIT Madras, said in a statement.
The “Manage TB – an online course for Doctors” consists of video lectures, case discussion scenarios and video demonstrations of laboratory procedures.
There is vast potential to develop online courses in a range of subjects and the NPTEL would welcome new proposals and coordinate the offering of the same, Thangaraj added.
The initiative would also impart a major boost to World Health Organization’s “End TB” Strategy, which seeks to achieve 95 per cent reduction in TB mortality and 90 per cent reduction in TB incidence by the year 2035.
Tuberculosis continues to be a major public health problem in much of the developing world. India has nearly one-fourth of the global TB patients and an estimated 4.8 lakh lives are lost every year due to this illness.
To eliminate TB, it is important to build the capacity of doctors to appropriately diagnose and treat TB, in view of the major advances recently in its diagnosis and treatment.