Activities of Bihar Tuberculosis Association

As India accounts for nearly one third of the global TB burden, the scenario in Bihar is no better due to obvious reasons like-poverty, over population, poor nutritional status, bad sanitation etc. The statics of Bihar State TB center indicates that TB kills more than 40,000 people every year and causes more than 1,70,000 new cases annually. Hence TB control in the state requires mega sustained efforts both by government and non-governmental agencies.

The Bihar Tuberculosis Association has been working with creditable track records by facilitating various activities on prevention, control & cure of TB. Though the association has been mainly foucsing on health education & is consistently engaged in awareness drive, it has done commendable job in the field of TB management by organizing Seminars, workshops, Health check up & TB detection camps both in rural areas & urban – slums and poor colonies. The Association has drawn up a CALENDER of activities which are being carried out vigorously.

January- Membership drive- Enroll new members.

February- Identification of slum areas in and around the city. Observance of Anti-TB week from 17th to 23rd Feb. The week long programme includes –public meeting, Mass awareness, Intensive Health Education Programmes, Publication of TB related articles in newspapers, distribution of TB related materials, screening of TB films and arranging talks through electronic media. etc.

March- Convening the meeting of Executive Committee followed by the General Body meeting- closing of accounts.
On 22nd march- a health camp at Dhanarua ( Dist-. Patna ) in collaboration with Mangalam Bihar.
24th march- observance of World TB Day.

April- Preparation for audit of accounts of the Association.

May- Educate people- to launch a TB education week, to visit Schools, Workplaces etc.

June- 3rd July-Health check up – cum- awareness camp at Bettiah ( dist. West Champararan ) in collaboration with Dr. Manoj Pandey Memorial Trust.

August- Organize workshop for Health workers and social activist.

September- Health check up camps / Mass Vaccination Programmes for children including B.C.G.

October- Inauguration of TB Seal Campaign. Counseling & updating session for Chest Phisicians.

November- Health camps at Keota ( dist. Samastipur ) in collaboration with Swati Sewa Samiti, a local NGO.
Vigorous TB Seal sale drive.

December- Health camp at Koilwar (dist.-Bhojpur) in collaboration with Munsi Shamsher Jang Bahadur Memorial Trust.
Follow up of intensive health education drive & to invite celebrities, patients and health providers to a high profile media events.

Apart from the above, we are collaborating with other NGOs, working in the field of health and social welfare. Our partnership and cooperation with them has strengthened us in implementing various health related programmes successfully. With one of our partner organization "The Prajnopaya Foundation", which is a charitable organization based in USA and branches in India, we organised three successful TB Camps at Rajgir, Nalanda and Vaishali in between 25th to 28th march, 2006 for detection of TB cases and putting them on DOTS regime.

The inaugural function of the above programme at Rajgir witnessed a host of dignitaries, including Hon'ble Health Minister, Bihar and Addl. DGHS, Govt. Of India, State and District level officers, Doctors as well as Mr. Tenzin L. S. Priyadarshi, Director with other representative of the Prajnopaya Foundation.

On all the above three camps about one thousand people were examined and their sputum were tested. Identified TB cases were put out on DOTS therapy.

In the second phase, with the view to provide reliable and timely patient and programme status, which is indispensable to improving adherence, reducing costs and scaling DOT, a six member team of researchers & students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA visited Bihar in the leadership of Mr. Priyadarshi, to launch their new innovation- "UBox" (an intelligent pill dispenser and data collection device) and "UPhone" (a cell phone based medical data collection device).

For testing and demonstration of new innovation (UBox and UPhone) a four day training programme was organised at Dhanarua (Dist. Patna) from 7th to 10th January, 2008. One of the team of MIT students provided training to Health workers about the usages of UBox and UPhone, while the other team trained member of the surrounding villages in methods to establish a peer-to-peer support network for patient monitoring and counselling. The focus was on creating a more secure support network for both patients and their peer workers. During the period, representatives from WHO and State TB Division visited the training site and discussed usages, impact and feasibility of the device with MIT group. Dr. Kuldeep Singh Sachdeva, Chief Medical Officer (TB), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. Of India, also visited Dhanarua and ovserved the training programme.

In the third phase, the pialot project was launched on 15th Oct., 2008 at Dalsingsarai (Samastipur) to impart training to field workers on the usages of the UBox and UPhone and to detect TB cases. Second camp was organised at Biharsharif from 18th to 20th Oct., 2008 for cases detection and training of field workers.

Whole programme was very successful and was hoped that the introduction of the devices will help monitoring and evaluating treatment result.

State Conference on TB & CD:

The association organized its 4th State Conference at Patna on January 31, 2010, which was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Sri Nitish Kumar and the Health Minister, Sri Nand Kishore yadav was the Chief Guest. On the occasion, two eminent TB experts of India fame, Dr. V. K. Arora, Vice Chairman of the Tuberculosis Association of India, New Delhi and Dr. J. K. Samariya, HoD, Institute of Medical Science, B.H.U., Varanasi, delivered guest lecture on burning issue like "MDR TB – Myth & Realities" and "Execution of DOTS programme in Bihar".

Chairman of the Association, Mr. U. N. Vidyarthi, welcomed the dignitaries while Dr. Asif raza, general Secretary presented the Secretary's report detailing the activities and achievements of the Association. Other prominent speakers included Dr. A. A. Hai, Dr. Gopal Pd. Sinha, Dr. S. N. Arya, Dr. Dilip Sen, Dr. Rajiv ranjan, Dr. Jitendra Kr Singh. Principal Secretary, Dept. Of health & Family Welfare, Govt. Of Bihar, Sri C. K. Misra also participated and addressed the August gathering.

The Scientific session of the Conference was nicely articulated focusing mainly on management of MDR-TB and current status of DOTS programme in Bihar.

Apart from the above, there were two symposium dedicated to memory of Prof. M. A. Hai and Dr. B. Mukhopadhyaya, both recipients of Padmabhushan and best known for their commitments and dedication to philanthropic activities. In the first symposium "Current status of DOTS programme in Bihar" was discussed and some measures to make DOTS more effective was also suggested. In the second symposium "MDR-TB intricacies in management in particular reference to India" was discussed. It was common view of the participants that effective and efficient implementation of DOTS is the best way to prevent MDR-TB.

Some important point emerged after day-long deliberation in the Scientific Session of the conference:-

  • To improve the quality and efficiency of DOTS Centres and to ensure regular supply of drugs at the Centres.
  • There should be one sophisticated lab in each Block and Reference laboratory in teh state capital with trained manpower.
  • A mechanism should be developed to collect and store the data of all TB cases along with the result of treatment for future programming.

Thus the conference proved to be benchmark achievement for the Association.

Our annual calendar, as indicated above, also include Health check-up-cum-Awareness Camp, Seminar, Workshop, Observance of anti-TB week World TB Day, etc. Our commitment and endeavour has placed the Bihar Tuberculosis Association among leading organizations working in the field of tuberculosis control not only at State level but also at national level. In recognition of its sincere efforts the Tuberculosis Association of India conferred special awards for consistently good performance and all round activities to the Bihar TB Association. Its chairman Mr. U. N. Vidyarthi was also awarded for his best performance on the occasion of SEAR NATCON-2008 held at New Delhi. The Association has received the following Awards/Shield:-

  • "Bhai Mohan Singh Cup" for general activities and achievement – during the year – 2003.
  • "Special Award" for consistently good performance for the year – 2005.
  • "Special Award" for all round activities for the year 2005-06.
  • "Special Certificate" for consistently good performance for the year -2007.
  • "Bhai Mohan Singh Cup" for general activities and achievement – during the year - 2008.
  • "Special Certificate" for all round activities – during the year – 2009.
  • "Special Certificate" for all round activities – during the year – 2010.