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States, UTs asked to provide 1 month’s drugs to all TB patients

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday directed all the states and Union Territories to provide one months drugs to all the patients suffering from Tuberculosis.

In a statement, the ministry stated, “The directives include providing one month of drugs at a time to all TB patients either newly diagnosed or currently on treatment. This includes both public and private sector TB patients, including drug-resistant TB patients.”

The states and Union Territories have also been directed to ensure that patients with or without identification cards receive medicines at a health facility convenient to them to prevent any form of interruption to treatment.

“The directives state that even if the TB patient is unable to approach the health facility, arrangements should be made by the facility to deliver drugs at the doorstep of the patient wherever possible,” it added.

They have also been directed to keep all the facilities under National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) fully functional in public interest and ensure that the diagnosis and treatment of TB patients goes without any interruption notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic situation.

Considering the challenges posed by the pandemic and the ensuing nationwide lockdown, the ministry has issued orders to ensure sufficient quantities of drugs are procured and adequate supplies of drugs are available.

“TB patients are being advised about the precautions to protect themselves from Covid-19 and to continue their TB treatment as prescribed,” the statement said.

Besides this, directive has been given to provide a TB toll-free number (1800-11-6666) to all the patients in case they face any difficulty in this regard.

–IANS

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