Tuberculosis Awareness

T. B. Clinic

Brief History of the T.B. Clinic

Started at Chunamandi, Paharganj, in a small rented room in October 1933, “as a philanthropic institution” to serve specially the poorer sections of the community, the clinic was shifted to a comparatively spacious house near Jama Masjid in August 1934. In September 1935, the clinic was again moved to a well-ventilated and spacious building named “Hanging Bridge” near Edward Park in Daryaganj. This was the first TB Clinic in Delhi, and it demonstrated the efficacy of managing TB patients on out-patient basis in an era when no specific anti-TB drugs were available. The statistics for the period 1933-35 demonstrated the need and advantages of such care for poor TB patients who could not afford to be admitted to TB Sanatoria.

Ramakrishna Mission T.B. Clinic

Ramakrishna Mission T.B. Clinic

A scheme for a permanent building was formulated in 1938. The Mission authorities had approached the local government for the allotment of a plot of land in Daryaganj for erecting a permanent building for the clinic. While the local government agreed to allot a site and negotiations for it were proceeding, Delhi Improvement Trust came into existence and offered an alternative site near Kashmiri Gate, which the Mission authorities accepted. Later, with the modification of the TB Control Programmes in 1938, Delhi Improvement Trust offered the Mission authorities the present site at Karol Bagh (Arya Samaj Road) in 1940. The Mission got possession of the land on 11 March 1940. An additional plot of land was also acquired for staff quarters etc. Construction of the TB Clinic building was completed by the end of 1947. The formal opening ceremony of the new building was performed by Union Health Minister Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. In August 1949, the clinic began to admit indoor patients to its 16 observation beds. An ENT department was added the same year. Another building to accommodate residential staff was constructed on an adjacent plot of land in 1954.

When the government decided to involve NGOs under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), the Ramakrishna Mission Free TB Clinic was selected as the District TB Centre (DTC) for Karol Bagh. The clinic had adopted Directly Observed Therapy Short Course (DOTS) in 1996, though the RNTCP was officially launched on 28 October 1998. From 1 April 2018 the Centre is also functioning as the District Drug Resistant TB Centre (DDR-TBC) and is responsible or initiating new DRTB cases on shorter regimens (9-12 months) of therapy as per RNTCP protocols.

The RNTCP at Ramakrishna Mission Free TB Clinic comprises the following components:

    1. Case finding: diagnosis of new TB patients.
      1. Treatment of TB patients, both DOTS and non DOTS.
      2. Symptomatic support to cases of TB and other diseases.
    2. Diagnosis of multidrug resistant (MDR) through Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CBNAAT) and extensive drug resistant (XDR) and pre-XDR cases of TB by sending suspects for sputum testing using Line Probe Assay (LPA) as well as culture and drug sensitivity (culture and DST) testing.
    3. Treatment of DRTB cases using individualized regimens based on Culture and DST.
    4. Case holding: Motivation of all TB cases for continuation of treatment for 6-8 months and MDR/XDRTB cases for 2 years.
    5. Selection of serious patients for admission to TB hospitals.
    6. Examination of contacts of sputum positive patients for presence of disease.
    7. Providing INH chemoprophylaxis to children below 6 years of sputum positive patients.
    8. Screening of all TB patients for HIV and referring HIV positive patients for antiretroviral therapy (ART).
    9. Screening of all TB patients above 14 years for diabetes.
    10. Giving health education to patients, their families, and to the community at large.
    11. Conducting awareness programmes for tuberculosis in schools.
    12. Arranging painting competitions on tuberculosis for school children.
    13. Conducting sensitization programmes for medical officers of government dispensaries and private practitioners.
    14. Involving private hospitals and private practitioners in the RNTCP programme and ensuring TB case notifications from the private sector.
    15. Disbursal of financial aid (Direct Benefit Transfer, DBT) to all TB patients as part of the national Nikshay Poshan Yojana.
      • The staff of this clinic consists of a District Tuberculosis Officer, medical officers, a senior treatment supervisor (STS), a senior tuberculosis laboratory supervisor (STLS), a senior DOTS Plus-HIV Supervisor, DOT providers, laboratory technicians, an X-ray technician, clerks and assistants.
          The clinic has the following facilities for diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis:

        • A clinical laboratory for sputum examination by smear microscopy.
        • A CBNAAT (GeneXpert) lab for detecting M tuberculosis and Rifampicin resistance.
        • A 200 mA X-ray unit installed in 1972-3 with the help of grant-in-aid received from the Ministry of Health, Government of India.
        • Free supply of antitubercular drugs for all categories of tuberculosis patients is made available through RNTCP. Free medicines for associated illnesses in tuberculosis patients are also provided at the clinic.

        As of 31 March 2021, 3 Designated Microscopy Centres (DMCs) and 6 DOTS centres were running successfully under the Free TB Clinic. The 3 DMC cum DOTS centres were located at Ramakrishna Mission Free TB Clinic and in Delhi Government Dispensaries at Tank Road and Anand Parbat. The remaining 3 DOTS centres were located in CGHS dispensaries at Pusa Road, New Rajinder Nagar and Dev Nagar (for treatment statistics see Appendix I).

Health Education and Public Awareness

Besides giving treatment to TB patients and chest symptomatics, this clinic also imparts health education to patients and to the community at large. In each DOT Centre an interactive meeting between DOT providers and patients is held every month where complete information to patients about Tuberculosis is given and their queries about treatment answered.

Public Meetings, Community Meetings and other Programs

This centre conducts public and community meetings every year to bring awareness about Tuberculosis, its treatment, its social and economic impact on the family, society, and country at large to the public, TB patients, and leaders of the community.

The clinic held its Annual Public Meeting and Blanket Distribution Programme on 16.09.2020. Dr Ashwani Khanna, State Programme Officer, RNTCP, Delhi, and Dr S M Govil, Honorary General Secretary, Delhi TB Association, were the Special Guests on this occasion. Nearly 230 TB patients, besides members of the public, participated in the programme. The highlight of the occasion was a street play on TB by young patients, as well as motivational talks on various aspects of TB based on the personal experiences by TB patients. Blankets, including 100 donated by Delhi TB Association, were distributed to all participating TB patients.

A community meeting was held on 16.09.2020 at the clinic premises to sensitize Drug Resistant (DR) TB patients and the community regarding the medical and socioeconomic needs of DRTB patients and the treatment and support they are provided at the clinic. 10 magic show based community awareness programmes, 5 outdoor awareness activities, display of banners and posters, distribution of leaflets and door to door Active Case Finding activities were conducted to generate public awareness on the new global strategy to End TB as well as for early detection of TB cases.

DRTB Patient Support

  • As many TB patients are poor and cannot afford a nutritious diet the centre provides them with milk, food grain, cooking oil and other food supplements. Select patients are also provided pecuniary aid for purchase of food supplements and for education of their children. During winters a large number of patients are supplied blankets.In the financial year ending 31 March 2021, 75 patients were put on treatment for various types of drug resistant TB. 40 of these patients were on the new Shorter Drug Regimen (9-11 months). Several of the DRTB patients have advanced disease that requires prolonged and complicated therapy. Many of them are from underprivileged socioeconomic background and their disease often leaves them incapable of work for prolonged periods. The clinic has started an economic aid scheme for these patients since December 2011. 67 patients with DRTB received financial support for varying durations during the FY 2020-21. These patients also received 1 kg pulses and 5 kg rice every month as additional nutritional support. A select group was given cooking oil and jaggery as nutritional supplement. DRTB patients are given financial aid for travel to DOT centres for injections and for nutritional support. Further, DRTB patients need to take medicines with significant toxicities which call for close laboratory monitoring of these patients. The cost of these investigations is also being supported by the clinic. Rs 8,35,577 were spent on these support activities.

  • Last updated: September 5, 2021 at 20:01 pm
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