Aster DM Healthcare, in collaboration with the District TB Centre, celebrates the successful completion of the Karuthal-2023 ‘Aster IGRA Testing Project,’ a pivotal initiative developed as part of the National TB Eradication Programme. This collaborative effort included a blood test for individuals closely associated with TB patients. This project was a joint effort with the National TB Elimination Program, Ernakulam District, JEET Project, WHO, and the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The UNION). The whole funding for this project is done by Aster DM Foundation.
The ceremony, held to mark the conclusion of Karuthal-2023, highlighted the multifaceted impact of Aster DM Healthcare’s contributions. Alongside the ‘Aster IGRA Testing Project,’ the healthcare group launched several ongoing programs under the Corporate TB Pledge, such as ‘Aster STEPS Centres’ as a national model for TB management in private hospitals and the ‘Aster Pharmacy Initiative.’
“I would like to congratulate Aster DM Healthcare for their dedicated commitment in advancing our nation towards achieving SDG targets related to Ending TB through their Corporate TB Pledge initiatives especially Aster IGRA Testing project’ which supported the Government in the Latent TB Infection screening,” said – N S K Umesh, District Collector, Ernakulam.”
Recognizing the need for supporting the State in this mission, Aster DM Healthcare launched a first-of-its-kind intervention as a part of its social responsibility initiative to aid in the early identification of TB in the Ernakulam District of Kerala.
The IGRA Screening project by Aster DM Healthcare is designed to utilize the Aster DM Healthcare reference laboratory network in Ernakulam District to support NTEP Kerala’s Latent TB Infection (LTBI) control program.
Through the Aster IGRA testing project, Aster Labs screened pediatric and young adult populations who were the contacts of TB patients in the Ernakulam District. After the blood test, Those identified underwent TB preventive treatments.
Aster DM Healthcare implemented a dedicated TB management system (Aster STEPS Centre) in its facilities to manage the cases in the centres as per the Standards of TB Care in India.
As part of the initiative, awareness of TB is initiated Aster pharmacy outlets. The pharmacies ensured adherence and follow-up support to customers on anti-TB medications by establishing a network system with medical practitioners and hospitals.
“Aster DM Healthcare Introduced Innovative Intervention with Private Laboratories, Utilizing the Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA) for accurate TB detection in Ernakulam district, Kerala. Pioneering the implementation, Aster DM Healthcare supports Government initiatives for Latent TB Screening, exemplifying a robust Public-Private Partnership, said Dr. Jawad Ahmed, Assistant. Chief of Medical Services, Aster Medcity.
N S K Umesh, District Collector, Ernakulam, Dr. Ananth. M, DTO Ernakulam, Dr. Anup R Warrier, Aster India Chief of Medical Affairs, Dr. Jawad Ahmed, Assistant-Chief of Medical Services, Aster Medcity. Anoop John, District Lead, Joint Efforts for Elimination of TB 2.0, Latheef, AGM, Aster DM Foundation, and Nithin, Cluster Head, Aster Labs, Kerala & Tamilnadu spoke at the ceremony held in Collectorate.