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Double boost for Dhanbad’s TB battle

- Treatment centres to open at Nirsa & Kendua this year, 2017 to see three more units

Having cured 2,175 tuberculosis patients through directly observed treatment, short-course (DOTS) and a multi-drug resistant victim under DOTS-Plus programme last year, the Dhanbad district control committee is now taking a giant infrastructure leap to serve more people grappling with the bacterial infection.

Two new TB units — one each at Nirsa and Kendua — will come up in 2014. These will add up to the five existing facilities at sadar and central hospitals and the community health centres in Jharia, Baghmara and Govindpur.

Speaking to The Telegraph on the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day on Monday, district TB control officer Jayant Kumar said that according to Union government guidelines, one TB unit equipped with drug storage facility and housing an office of a medical officer was mandatory for a population of 2.5 lakh.

At present, each of the five TB units in Dhanbad cater to five lakh people. “The new units that will come up at the community health centres in Nirsa and Kendua will ease the burden on the existing facilities,” Kumar said. He added that three more TB control facilities would be launched after selection of sites by 2017.

According to Kumar, there are 36 designated microscopic centres offering free sputum culture — a test to detect and identify the bacteria that infect the lungs or breathing passages — in the district. “We are also working to increase the number of such designated microscopic centres for sputum examination to 50,” he said and added that one of them was set to be launched in a month at Katras.

On DOTS-Plus, district TB coordinator R.K. Samaddar said that currently 14 patients from Dhanbad and 53 from Giridih, Bokaro, Deoghar, Godda, Dumka, Jamtara, Sahebganj and Pakur were being treated under it.


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