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Triple Increase in TB Testing for Early Case Detection in Kashmir

TB testing ramped up to three times for early detection of cases in Kashmir

Around 2.25 lakh tests done this year so far: Officials

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Nov 27 (KNO): A coordinated effort to combat tuberculosis (TB) in Kashmir division has led to a substantial increase in testing initiatives, and is aimed at early detection and reduced transmission rates.

Health officials informed the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) that TB testing programmes have expanded to identify cases during the initial stages.

According to the officials, testing has seen a threefold increase compared to the previous year, with a focus on detecting cases early in the course of the disease.

In 2020, 63,307 presumptive examinations were conducted, followed by 95,290 in 2021, 97,647 in 2022, and 220,558 examinations till October this year.

The intensified testing efforts are aimed at facilitating timely treatment, reducing transmission rates and breaking the chain of TB transmission within communities, they said, adding that the rapid and accurate diagnostic tools play a crucial role in confirming TB cases swiftly, allowing healthcare professionals to initiate appropriate interventions promptly.

The officials said the proactive approach to TB testing not only improves individual health outcomes but also contributes to the broader goal of eliminating the disease.

Investments in TB testing infrastructure, along with innovative diagnostic technologies, underscore a commitment to addressing this persistent health challenge though on the decline in Kashmir, they said.

Authorities in Kashmir have also adopted Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems to detect potential tuberculosis cases, enhancing surveillance efforts with the aim of making the division TB-free.

Dr Adfar Qadri, the State Tuberculosis Officer, told KNO that tuberculosis is on the decline in Kashmir.

“We will achieve TB elimination by 2025 as we are doing intensified and active case finding and case screening,” Dr Adfar said, adding, “Several measures have been taken over the years to develop infrastructure and employ manpower for the early detection and effective treatment of the disease.”—(KNO)

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