NCDs are a major threat to TB control
A major hurdle which Kerala faces in its TB control efforts is the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Around 44% of its TB patients suffer from diseases like diabetes, hypertension, etc. So now the thrust is on linking all TB patients with the NCDs control programme. Kerala started screening for diabetes in TB patients from 2003 onwards and TB diabetes bidirectional screening has been there since last 2-3 years.
Kerala has a robust general health system that is supported by political and administrative commitment. This, coupled with its high literacy rate and good health seeking behaviour of the people, is likely to make Kerala the first TB free state in the country and become a beacon of hope for other states.
Shobha Shukla, CNS (Citizen News Service)
(Shobha Shukla is the founder Managing Editor and Executive Director of CNS (Citizen News Service). She is also the coordinator of APCAT Media (Asia Pacific regional media network to end TB & tobacco and prevent NCDs). Follow her on Twitter @shobha1shukla or visit www.citizen-news.org)
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