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World Tuberculosis Day: Budgam scores big, declared only TB-free district in India

Source: World Health Organization (www.who.int)

Srinagar: Central Kashmir’s Budgam has become the only Tuberculosis-free district in the country recording 80 percent drop in the cases.

On the Word Tuberculosis (TB) Day on Wednesday, the central government will formally grant TB –free certification for the Budgam district. Udhampur district will be awarded a bronze medal for recording a 20% drop in TB incidence from 2015 baseline.

 

Data of 65 districts was verified by Central TB Division, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with WHO NTEP, ICMR-NIE Chennai, and IAPSM (Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine) before reaching a conclusion.

The verification in Budgam was conducted by the IAPSM team from Department of Community Medicine Government College Srinagar. The secondary data verification, Nominal Group Technique (NGT), Key Informant Interviews (KII) and field visits were conducted by 10 teams of District Tuberculosis Center, Budgam.

Around 3296 households were surveyed and 17490 families enumerated. Nearly 13591 souls participated in the survey. Around 209 people were tested, of whom two came back positive. The TB score was 80.67 in 2020. 

“NNT (Number Needed to test) has increased by 189 percent. In 2015, NNT was 30.5. In 2015, we had 257 cases and in 2020 we have only 170 cases. Earlier we were getting one positive out of 20 patients. Now we get one positive when we test 35 people,” Dr. Rehana Kousar, State TB Officer, Kashmir, told The Kashmir Monitor.

Dr. Rehana however hastened to add that a TB-free district does not mean that there will be no cases in Budgam. “It means there will be very few cases in the district. From 2015 to 2020, TB cases have drastically fallen in the district. Our data was verified by multiple agencies from the center and state government,” she said.  

An official spokesman said a ceremony shall be held tomorrow where the States / UTs will be awarded in four categories for their outstanding contributions for eradicating TB.

He said  efforts of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for controlling Tuberculosis has been appreciated by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Jammu and Kashmir shall receive two awards during the event.

Financial Commissioner, Health & Medical Education, Atal Dulloo has congratulated doctors and other staff for outstanding progress in eradicating TB.