Mr Sputum, face of project to control TB
India has the highest TB burden in the world, accounting for nearly one-fifth of the global incidence. Two years ago, out of the estimated global annual incidence of 9.4 million, two million were estimated to have occurred in India out of which 0.9 million were infectious cases.
Mr Sputum appears on TV, speaks on radio and features in street theatre performances. According to Mohanty, the programme has already been scaled up from 90 to 240 districts, reaching out to 430 million people. Several Axshya Mitras (volunteers) have been empowered to work in district TB forums. Nearly 1,000 NGOs and over 8,000 rural healthcare providers have joined the fight, apart from nine key organisations such as Mamta Health Institute for Mother and Child Health, Voluntary Health Association of India, Christian Medical Association of India, Catholic Bishops Conference of India and Coalition for AIDS and Related Diseases.
Satara in Maharashtra has been chosen as a model district. E R Babu, one of the coordinators, said, “This Diwali, schoolchildren, sugar factory owners and a cross-section of people took a pledge to fight TB. At the Suzlon Windmills, DOTS centres have been set up and provisions are being made to set up a similar facility at the Bhandar Jail.”
(Anuradha attended the conference as a guest of Global Health Strategies)
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