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Times of India
10 July 2010
Pune, India

The private industry can play a vital role in promoting and undertaking tuberculosis (TB) control activities in the workplace and in the community around, said Naresh Rahane, past convenor of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Pune chapter, here on Friday.

TB is known to cause a decline in worker productivity to the order of US$ 13 billion every year, globally. In India, it causes a loss of 100 million workdays per year, said Rahane. He was speaking at the regional conference on ‘TB management at workplace and beyond’ organised by the CII, Pune, in association with the World Economic Forum.

Giving an overview of the national–level Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), N D Deshmukh, assistant director (TB), said, "One untreated sputum–positive patient can infect 10 to 15 healthy persons in a year. India has the highest incidence of TB and accounts for more than one–fifth of the global occurrence." The current focus is on achieving universal access to free quality–assured TB services for all patients in the community, he added.

In addition to implementing core DOTS activities, RNTCP is implementing almost all the additional components of the ‘Stop TB Strategy’ and is consistently achieving global benchmark for the past three years. Deshmukh further said there is a need to engage all care providers like private players and other sectors – including public and corporate sectors.

Ramnik Ahuja, head, public health, CII, gave a presentation on the framework for the industry involvement at workplace and beyond on TB control services.

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