Maha Govt to Conduct Door-to-Door Screening of 8.66 Cr People to Detect TB and Leprosy

Maha Govt to Conduct Door-to-Door Screening of 8.66 Cr People to Detect TB and Leprosy

The Maharashtra Government will undertake door-to-door screening as part of a one month campaign to detect new leprosy and tuberculosis (TB) cases. The State Public Health Department will reportedly screen 8.66 crore people which includes 6.82 crore citizens in rural areas and 1.84 crore people in urban regions.

Also read5,000 Cases Of TB And 2362 Cases Of Leprosy Reported In Mumbai: BMC Survey

Joint Director for TB and Leprosy in the state, Dr R S Adkekar said to Indian Express, “This year the notification for TB and leprosy was low. We suspect a lot of new cases in community have gone undetected and may continue to transmit the infection to others. To arrest the transmission and put these people on treatment, a state-wide drive will help.”

The screening will be conducted with the help of two health workers such as ASHA workers or Anganwadi helpers who will go to 20 households in rural areas and 25 homes in urban regions daily. The residents will be asked about symptoms including persistent fever for two weeks or more, cough, and weight loss. Two sputum samples will be collected from suspected cases. Confirmed cases are then asked to undergo chest x-ray for the same and will be administered treatment, the joint director said.

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Meanwhile, the screening for leprosy will be done by checking for white and numb patches on the skin. If a suspected case is detected, they are referred to the primary health centres nearest to their location for more tests.

State Health Secretary Dr Pradeep Vyas said that district collectors and municipal commissioners will monitor this screening campaign adding that the operation is based on the highly successful polio campaign. 

Authorities from the state health department are expecting to detect several cases of TB and leprosy among the population given that many have been hesitant to visit hospitals after the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials added that detection of new cases has seen a fall of 40 to 50% during the lockdown period. Meanwhile, Minister of State for Health Rajendra Patil-Yadravkar has urged the citizens to cooperate with the health workers by sharing all relevant information about symptoms, if any.

Also read7 Lakh People To Be Screened For Tuberculosis By The BMC