#EndTB: Exclusive call centre for TB patients to start soon

The government is set to start a call centre for the tuberculosis (TB) patients in the country. In a first-of-its kind attempt, the call centre will soon be launched in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. This call centre will work dedicatedly towards spreading TB awareness, and to keep a check on whether the patients are taking their medications

EndTB: Exclusive call centre for TB patients to start soon

  • This will be a call centre solely dedicated to the health need of TB patients
  • Through this call centre, awareness regarding TB will be created, information on TB will be provided too
  • The call centre employees will keep an eye on TB patient, whether they are taking medicines at proper intervals
  • Patients who are diagnosed with TB, will be counselled about the disease and what food or diet should be taken by the patient

In a first-of-its kind initiative, the union government has decided to start a dedicated call centre to #EndTB in India. Within next two to three months, the call centre will start functioning for the betterment of TB patients. As per information received, India’s first dedicated 24/7 call centre will be set-up in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra regarding this call centre, state TB officer Dr Sanjeev Kamble said, “This call centre will work as a normal call centre. Over here information about TB will be given. The aim of this call centre is to create awareness amongst the people and counsel those who are suffering from TB.”

Dr Kamble further added, “Within next two to three months this call centre will be operational at its full strength. So that we will surely works toward eradication of TB by 2025.”

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Jyotiba Salwe, medical consultant of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control program (RNTCP) said, “When a patient is diagnosed TB he/she gets scared and doesn’t visit the doctor. Owing to which, he gets MDR-TB within no time. That is why the government is starting a call centre so that TB patients will be benefited.”

She added, “Many a times, due to the taboo, patients diagnosed with TB either don’t visit the doctor or skip their medicine dose. It’s easy to talk to the call centre person. We have also asked private doctors to report TB cases to us,” said Dr Salwe.

India continues to have the highest number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the world, stated the Global TB Report 2017 released by World Health Organization (WHO).

On PM Narendra Modi’s direction, a national strategic plan has been developed to eradicate TB by the year 2020 to 2025.

TB was responsible for 1.7 million deaths in 2016, despite most cases being curable. Over 10 million people contract TB every year. WHO South-East Asia Region, which hosts about one-fourth of the global population, shares a disproportionate 46% global TB disease burden.

Renowed tuberculosis expert, Dr Madhu Pai had earlier proposed the idea to start call centres for addressing health concerns of TB patients in India.

Also Read: ‘India must fully fund and implement the new National Strategic Plan for TB elimination’