Kolkata, July 13 (IANS) The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Tuberculosis Health Action Learning Initiative (THALI) project will help city’s civic authorities increase TB notifications from the private sector, officials said on Thursday.
TB notification from the private sector in West Bengal is 4.99 per cent (Annual TB Report, 2017). In 2016, Bengal was fifth-lowest in private sector notification of TB cases to the government.
To improve TB outcomes in the city and combat the menace of multidrug-resistant TB, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has signed a MoU with THALI.
“The MoU recognises THALI as a strategic partner to the KMC in its efforts to roll out the Centre’s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP). We aim to reach out to the 4.5 million people in 144 wards under the civic body, including slum dwellers,” said Atin Ghosh, Member, Mayor-In-Council (Health).
THALI is a $7.4-million four-year project (January 2016 to January 2020) that is being executed by the World Health Partners (WHP).
The main objectives include facilitating increased TB notifications from the private sector, sensitizing doctors on Standards for TB Care in India (STCI), community engagement, catalysing innovations, strengthening evidence-based decision making, coordination with government bodies and mobilising increased investment for TB prevention and care.
Since more than 60 per cent of patients seek care in the private sector, the project would help facilitate the early and accurate diagnosis of TB among the urban poor as well as notifying cases diagnosed and treated in that sector, said Milan Dinda, project director, THALI.
Dinda said a range of information and communication technology (ICT) innovations would be introduced.
“We will launch a call centre which will collate data from the field. We will have systems to send real-time data from the field to the call centre,” added Dinda.