TB Jan Andolan: Tuberculosis (TB) Alert in Pregnant Women

Chandigarh, June 29: Citing that the occurrence of Tuberculosis (TB) in pregnant women is largely unknown, Haryana Health Department today digitally held a sensitization workshop – TB Jan Andolan, a mass movement for eradicating TB, jointly with Women & Child (W&CD) Development Department.

It came to light during the workshop that the Government has four Schemes namely – ‘Nikshay Poshan Yojana’, ‘Informant Incentive Yojana’, ‘Treatment Supporter Yojana’ and ‘Private Provider Notification Yojana’, wherein financial assistance is provided to TB patients and their caretakers through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).

During the workshop, detailed presentations were given. Elaborating that the occurrence of TB is largely unknown among pregnant women WHO Consultant, Dr. Anuj Jhangra said the physiological changes in pregnancy have an impact on the epidemiology of TB. Moreover, immunological changes during pregnancy make new infections as well as activation of latent infection more common among this group.

On risks and vulnerabilities for women, he specified in the presentation that women are expected to be the caregivers for sick and are vulnerable to exposure to TB either before or after the diagnosis of TB within the family. Also, the use of solid biofuels for cooking coupled with poverty, lack of ventilation, etc leads to an increased risk of TB.

Sharing the list of work to be done by the Women & Child Development Department, WHO Consultant, Dr. Anuj said that the officials need to organize orientation workshops with Self Help Groups with defined objectives and agenda so as to raise awareness about TB, patient entitlements, available services among families and community. He further shared that for any TB-related query the people of the state can contact toll-free number 1800-11-6666. He emphasized that interpersonal communication through ASHAs, ANMs can play an important role in educating people on TB and reducing its stigma.

Earlier, Advocacy Communication Social Mobilization Officer, Ms. Sarita Naryal gave a detailed presentation on various schemes initiated by the government for TB. She elaborated that the primary symptoms of the disease are – fever, cough, loss of weight, sweating – which are similar to COVID-19. She stated that the disease is contagious, however, if the patient is administered treatment for 15 days, it doesn’t spread.

In the presentation, she informed as per TB Report 2021, India has 23,28,338 TB cases of which Haryana has reported 62,697 cases. On the fatality, due to the disease, she said that 89,823 TB infected people have died of which 2,809 deaths were in Haryana. She specified that it is pertinent to conduct an HIV test of the patient who has TB. Sharing information of new TB-HIV cases she said that India has reported 45,663 new TB-HIV cases of which 886 have been reported from Haryana. On the death, due to TB-HIV, the national figure is 5,388 of which 73 deaths have been reported in Haryana. Sharing details of TB among children, Ms. Sarita said that 1,02,090 pediatric TB cases have been reported of which 3,321 have been reported in Haryana. The state provides free treatment and testing facilities to the people at various TB Centres across the state, she added.

Among others present were ADGHS, Haryana, Dr. V.K. Bansal, Deputy Directors (TB) – Dr. Sushma Arora, Dr. Varsha, and Dr. Anjali Arora. Nodal Officer for Promotion of National Health Programmes, Dr. Rita Kalra hosted the event.