In Jharkhand, there are 17,738 DOTS centres in the entire state with population of 30.9 million.
The state TB programme in Jharkhand has engaged many community healthcare volunteers, NGOs, private medical practitioners, as DOTS providers. The honorarium for these DOTS providers should be enhanced, said Dr Dayal.
There is a need to increase access of the most vulnerable communities to quality diagnostics. Laboratory services need attention in the state. Presently the state has 296 designated microscopy centres (DMCs) for a population of 30.9 million. The three notified tribal districts in Jharkhand are likely to have more DMCs soon.
Community healthcare volunteers help with sputum collection and they are provided with incentives, said Dr Dayal. There are more than 12,000 community DOTS providers in the state which includes many cured TB patients. This is also supported by the WHO Stop TB Strategy, a component of which is the Patients’ Charter for TB Care.
Dr Dayal said that there is a compelling need to align TB control programmes with the poverty initiatives being undertaken in the state, and the state TB programme is already contemplating to do so very soon. They are planning to link the state TB programme in Jharkhand to the welfare department, Red Cross society, confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in Jharkhand, among others.
Cash compensation is also being provided by the state TB programme in Jharkhand to meet expenses incurred on local transportation or to compensate for loss of daily wages or adverse drug reactions or complications.
Dr Dayal said that in 2010-2011 the state TB programme in Jharkhand is committed to further improve basic DOTS services by intensified monitoring and supervision, enhancing community-based approaches and involving other sectors. They are also planning to start DOTS Plus services in Jharkhand in a phased manner. Moreover there is a plan to strengthen TB-HIV collaborative activities to reach out and provide appropriate healthcare services to TB patients among people living with HIV (PLHIV) and PLHIV among TB patients.