Indian-American physicians to boost collaboration in India’s TB notifications campaign  

World Health Organization visual telling the status of TB in the world and the negative impact of COVID-19 on past gains. Photo:Twitter @WHO

According to the World Health Organization, tuberculosis is the 13the leading cause of death globally and the 2nd leading infectious killer after COVID-19, (more than HIV/AIDS). In 2020, 1.5 million people died of TB, and 10 million people fell ill worldwide that year. But TB is curable and preventable.

India is the leading country among the top 8 countries which account for two-thirds of the total. It is followed by China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.

India has incorporated strategies to achieve TB elimination in its National Health Policy and its goal is to reduce new cases and eliminate it by 2025, notes the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, AAPI, which announced Aug. 9, 2022, that it is collaborating in India’s TB Notifications Campaign.

Covid has had a devastating impact on the TB Free efforts for India, notes the press AAPI press release. Most significantly, TB notifications have been reduced by 30%-50% in the initial stage of the pandemic and failed to reach the 2.4 million annual TB notification target for 2021. There is an urgent need to boost TB Notification, especially post-Covid.

“There is no instant solution for India’s myriad problems. But by collaborating with the governments both nationally and at state levels, and working with the government and NGOs, physicians of Indian origin can make a huge difference,” Dr. Ravi Kolli, president, of AAPI is quoted saying in the press release.

Dr. Kolli was part of the recent closing ceremony of BOOSTING THE TB NOTIFICATION (BTN) CAMPAIGN, a training and certification program of DTO (District TB Officers) in India attended by almost 370 DTOS and STO (State TB Officer), organized by Drs. Manoj Jain and Salil Bhargava, co-founders of CETI (Collaboration to Eliminate TB in Indians), supported by USAID, Emory University and U.S. Centers for Disease Control, etc.

According to Dr. Jain, DTOs in India have initiated a TB Notification Campaign using the PDSA quality improvement process guided by CETI (Collaboration to Eliminate TB among Indians) and Emory University. The objectives are to increase notification for TB by 10% over the course of a year by implementing the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) -Quality Improvement Initiative (QII); Engage more than 500 DTOs covering all the districts in a virtual 8 week session for 1.5 hours each week; and, provide certificates of completion from Emory University, Central TB Division, WHO, IIPH and CETI to successful DTOs.

Dr. Jain, who has been part of this initiative of AAPI since its launch, shared the progress achieved, with other leaders in AAPI.

“AAPI in its unique way has made immense contributions to helping our motherland during the crisis and played a significant role in saving lives,” Dr. Kolli noted, expressing full support from the organization to the initiative.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here