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Telangana govt contemplating to compensate TB patients through ‘DBT’ in line with KCR kit

A Raju, Hyderabad
Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

With an aim to eliminate Tuberculosis (TB) in the state by 2023, the state government of Telangana is contemplating to adopt ‘direct benefit transfer’ (DBT) to extend financial help to the TB patients on the same lines of KCR kits.

Buoyed with the success of KCR Kits scheme which is aimed at encouraging pregnant women to go for institutional deliveries by transferring Rs.12,000-13,000, directly into the accounts of pregnant women, the Telangana health department is also contemplating to adopt a similar path to eradicate TB from the state.

As it is known that the Union government has already set its target to eradicate TB from the country by 2025, the Telangana government is planning to achieve the fete two years earlier than that of the central government target.

According to senior officials from the health department, the direct benefit transfer is meant for those patients failing to stick to the regime.

Health Minister Dr. C Laxma Reddy said, “the state government is committed to eliminate TB in the State by 2023. Some TB patients are not able to fully utilise the quality diagnosis and best treatment being made available by the government because of stigma attached to the disease”.

TB patients, especially among the poor and middle class are reluctant to take treatment fearing social stigma of being identified negatively. “We have seen so many cases particularly in the middle class society suffering from TB hesitate to take drugs from the government hospitals because of the fear that they may be identified by their neighbours,” observed a volunteer from an NGO working for TB patients.

As per the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, the government has been spending around Rs.2 lakh on each patient suffering from multi-drug resistant TB. In spite of spending so much, a section of TB patients are not sticking to the regimen because of lack of awareness and it leads to relapse of the disease.

Meanwhile, around 85 per cent TB patients are receiving treatment in the government hospitals and 15 per cent in private sector. According to an estimate at least 20,000 patients in the state are not completing the regimen.

Dr Surya Prakash, Joint Director (TB) and State TB Officer, said, “The main objective behind the state government’s initiative to launch DBT for TB patients is to make sure all those TB patients who fail to continue the regimen, are covered. For this, we are contemplating to launch a similar scheme like KCR kits. Wherein the TB patients will get the incentive money through DBT a month after taking the treatment.”

According to officials the health department is planning to give Rs.500 to Rs.1,000 to each patient which will be directly transferred into their accounts.


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