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India’s tuberculosis challenge

According to  an opinion editorial by Dr. Soumya Swaminathan in the Hindu , a systematic review of several  Indian studies estimated that pulmonary TB prevalence among tribal people was 703 per 100,000, which is almost three times that in the general population (256 per 100,000). Dr. Soumya Swaminathan is the Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Prior to this. She was the  Director, National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) in Chennai since 2012.

ICMR  in collaboration with the Central Tuberculosis Division of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is planning an innovative project in certain hard-to-reach tribal areas in central and western India. It will be implemented initially in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh (19 districts and 17,000 villages) covering a population of approximately 18 million.

The goal with be to implement strategies to engage the community to improve their awareness about TB and involve traditional healers in aiding early detection and referrals.

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