Jammu Kashmir Health & Medical Education Department efforts towards TB elimination received major validation with three districts of Union Territory – Anantnag, Pulwama & Kupwara receiving gold medal under the Sub National Certification for TB Elimination program in the country. The activity was undertaken by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India.
Total 8 districts in the country were awarded the Gold medal and J&K has 03 districts in this list. Five other districts which have secured gold medals are Malappuram and Wayanad in Kerala, Khargone in Madhya Pradesh, Ahmednagar in Maharashtra, and Purba Mednipur in West Bengal. All these districts have shown 60-80 percent reduction in TB cases in the last five years.
The fourth entry from the UT, Baramulla got the Bronze medal under this program.
Speaking on this achievement, Shri Vivek Bhardwaj, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department, J&K said, “Gold medal to three districts of Jammu & Kashmir reflects the hard work put in by the district administration and healthcare officials towards elimination of TB from the Union Territory. We are aligned with the Government of India’s vision to eliminate tuberculosis from the country by 2025. This recognition of our efforts will motivate the grassroot teams associated with the tuberculosis elimination program to work with greater enthusiasm.”
Dr. Rubeena Shaheen, State Tuberculosis Officer (STO) said, out of 08 districts selected for the gold medal from across the country, three are from J&K. This is a matter of pride for the entire Heath Department of UT. On behalf of the entire team, we thank the Government of India for recognising our efforts.
Dr. Syed Faheem Aalam, District TB Officer, Anantnag said, on behalf of all the healthcare workers and officials of the Anantnag district, we express gratitude to the UT government for constant guidance and support in executing TB elimination program in the district. This recognition will motivate us further to eliminate tuberculosis for the district completely by 2025.
Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, rolled out the initiative of Sub-national certification of progress towards TB Free Status in 2020-21 to track the progress made towards achieving the goal of total TB elimination by 2025. The verification of the claims submitted by State / UT / Districts were completed by the ICMR-National Institute of Research in TB (ICMR-NIRT) during February – March 2021, in collaboration with ICMR National Institute of Epidemiology (ICMR-NIE), Indian Association of Preventive & Social Medicine (IAPSM) and WHO India.
Field level verification of pre-requisites through review of program record and patient interviews, verification of drug consumption data in public sector and drug sale data in private sector, through review of records and interactions with private practitioners and chemists were conducted for submitted claims. These steps were supported with District level survey for estimating TB incidence and under reporting in randomly selected villages in the districts.