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KIMSHEALTH Notches ‘Torch Bearer Trophy’ for TB Control

In Health
September 28, 2020

KIMSHEALTH, a world-class multispecialty hospital here, has notched the coveted “Torch Bearer Trophy” for the best performing private sector hospital engaged in the control of Tuberculosis (TB), one of the world’s most deadly diseases that kills three people every minute.

Globally, each year, 10 million people develop TB and 1.5 million die from the disease. In India, the estimated TB incidence in India is 27 lakh, the highest in the world.

Government of India’s Joint Effort for Elimination of TB (JEET), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, has instituted the award to recognize outstanding work done by the private sector to support the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP), which aims to achieve a rapid decline in the morbidity and mortality due to TB, while working toward elimination of TB in India by 2025.

“It is a recognition for establishing Systems for ensuring ‘Standards of TB care in India’ to all patients reaching the hospital. KIMS is a hospital which established a system and notified 100% TB cases to Government. Also through a system, KIMS ensured follow up of all notified TB patients and successfully ensured public health actions including UDST, Contact Investigations, DBT, Airborne infection control, co-morbidity screening, treatment adherence support and reporting of outcomes” said Dr M I Sahadulla, Chairman and Managing Director, KIMSHEALTH.

The award, being a recognition by the Government of India’s Joint Effort for Elimination of TB (JEET), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, was handed over to Dr Sahadulla by District TB Officer, Thiruvananthapuram, on behalf of Joint Effort for Elimination of TB, last week.

Elaborating on the best practices and protocols at KIMSHEALTH relating to TB, Dr P Arjun, Senior Consultant and Head, Department of Respiratory Medicine, KIMSHEALTH, said: “We register all patients diagnosed as having TB in the Govt of India’s NIKSHAY portal. We established first ‘STEPS’ – System for TB Elimination in Private Sector center in collaboration with Government of Kerala. We encourage all patients to be provided free TB drugs from the NTEP programme. We follow up all TB patients and ensure that they receive all care according to ‘Standards of TB Care in India’. Our registering, reporting and follow up of TB patients – are exemplary.”

Besides Respiratory Medicine, the departments involved in the TB control programme are Infection Control and Infectious Diseases.

Earlier, only the government hospitals were dealing with TB patients. By 2000-01 the private sector hospitals too were roped in. There was an initial reluctance from the private sector to join the effort because of the stipulation that only medicines provided by the government should be used, Dr Arjun explained.

But, later on the private hospitals realized that the medicines supplied by the Government, the lab support and the protocols advised were the best form of treatment for the disease noted Dr Arjun.

KIMSHEALTH joined the programme in 2013 and from then on there was no looking back, he said adding that most TB patients get cured by six months of treatment. In some cases it takes nine to 12 months.

Medications are the cornerstone of tuberculosis treatment. But treating TB takes much longer than treating other types of bacterial infections. Two types of TB are seen. One affecting the lungs and the other affecting other organs of the body such as the bones and the brain, he said.

“We have effective treatment for each kind of TB. Moreover, we are following strict protocols for managing TB. We started giving TB patients masks much before they became commonplace with the event of Covid,” he said.

The state health department too is lending a helping hand by supplying free TB kits which include masks, sputum cups and a disinfectant lotion, he added.

Dr Dev Kiran (DTO, Trivandrum), Dr Rajalakshmi, Dr Arjun, Dr Ameer, Dr Niyasand Sr Ayisha were also present on the occasion.