In a first, app for Tuberculosis patients to be launched

The move aims at enrolling more persons affected  by the disease and resolving the problems faced by them
Image for representational purpose only.
Image for representational purpose only.

BHUBANESWAR: Tuberculosis patients can now enrol themselves, enquire about diagnostic centres and availability of drugs, lodge grievances and get assistance from the Government, all through a mobile application.

In a first-of-its-kind attempt to get more tuberculosis patients enrolled and resolve their grievances, the Odisha Government is all set to launch the mobile application - TB Mitra in two districts on a pilot basis.

The app developed by Resource Group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health (REACH) will be first introduced in Berhampur Municipality area in Ganjam district besides Bargarh district.
Director of Health Services Dr Braja Kishore Brahma said Odisha will be the first State to launch the app. “We would introduce it in other districts after analysing the users’ feedback. We hope the app would help find more TB patients who were not in the record. It will also help create a database,” he said.

Though the Centre has launched Nikshay portal and its app to encourage notification of TB patients under its Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), officials claimed that the newly developed TB Mitra app is completely different.

The app has four segments. While the first segment would provide the users complete information on TB, its signs, symptoms and FAQs, second segment has details of all diagnostic centres available in the State with GPS mapping.

The third segment would deal with redressal of grievances and the fourth one has the dashboard, which can be operated by health officials monitoring the TB control programme in the State.
The initiative will establish a direct interface between the patients and doctors.

A TB patient can use the app after downloading it and getting enrolled. Now suited for android-based cell phones, it will be available on Google play-store once it is launched. The app will help reach out to more patients, treating doctors and health officials.

“We will first have a training session for health officials who will use the app. They will encourage patients visiting them to get enrolled and help them download it from the play-store. We are planning to launch it in next one month,” an official of REACH said.

The organisation also plans to introduce the app in its other project States - Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in phases. If the app is implemented successfully, the official said they would recommend the Centre, which aims at eradicating TB by 2025, to launch it across the country.

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The New Indian Express