Register every TB patient in NIKSHAY database: IMA to pvt doctors
Register every TB patient in NIKSHAY database: IMA to pvt doctors

New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged private doctors to notify every tuberculosis patient and register them on NIKSHAY, a web-enabled application developed by the Health Ministry. 

NIKSHAY is an online tool which aims to create a database of all TB patients for monitoring and research purposes. Dr R V Asokan, secretary general and chairman of IMA, said private doctors have a huge role to play in reporting TB cases and adhering to the standards for TB Care in India (STCI). 

"They (private) need to realise the urgency of the situation in that a drug sensitive epidemic is being transformed into a drug resistant epidemic.

Standards of TB care have to be followed uniformly across the private sector. "India has the largest burden of tuberculosis in the world. Notification of every TB patient is the single most important intervention to meet the government's vision of a TB-free India. 

IMA is addressing this and is encouraging all private doctors to notify every TB patient in order to achieve the goal of 'End TB' in India by 2025," Asokan said. 

It is seen that we are unable to track the actual number of TB cases on the ground, he said. "To make the TB-free India mission a success notification of patients by private doctors has to increase by leaps and bounds. India declared TB a notifiable disease in 2012. 

All medical practitioners in the country need to notify their TB patients. Upon notification, the patient gets access to free drugs, diagnostic tests and nutritional support," he said. 

IMA has been working with the government to develop strategies that effectively address the impediments in the management of the disease, especially the low notification of patients. 

The IMA is holding a series of TB programmes for medical professionals across the country to increase notifications in the private sector and is encouraging them to register TB patients on NIKSHAY, he said. 

Notification allows access to free drugs and diagnostic tests as per the STCI and patient-centric support that ensures patients adhere to the treatment and incentives. 

The financial incentives are provided upon notification in NIKSHAY through integrated direct beneficiary transfer. "Ultimately, TB patients need a complete solution to their problem, regardless of whether they seek care in the public or the private sector. 

Therefore, it is important for the private sector to work hand-in-hand with the Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP), and improve the overall quality of TB care in the country," Asokan said. 

India accounts for a quarter of the 8.6 million cases of TB that occur worldwide. India also accounts for a third of the 'missing 3 million TB cases' that do not get diagnosed or notified. 

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