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Scheme to Screen Children for Leprosy & TB

  • 28 Aug 2019
  • 2 min read

The Union government has rolled out a scheme for universal screening of children below 18 years for leprosy and tuberculosis (TB).

  • It is going to benefit almost 25 crore children and adolescents annually. This will help in ensuring timely screening for the diseases and will put them on treatment (if required).
  • Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) Mobile Health teams will act as the delivery agent for the scheme. They will perform the screening of children for TB and Leprosy.
    • Earlier, the screening of children of age group 0-6 years was done at Anganwadis and children of 6-18 years group were enrolled in government and government-aided schools.
  • RBSK is aimed at early identification and intervention of diseases in children from their birth to 18 years of age so as to cover the 4 Ds—
    • Defects at birth,
    • Deficiencies,
    • Diseases, &
    • Developmental delays, including Disability.

Leprosy & TB burden in India

  • India eliminated leprosy in 2005. All states except Chhattisgarh and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli have eliminated leprosy, but still, 1.15-1.2 lakh new leprosy cases are detected every year.
  • Tuberculosis kills an estimated 4.8 lakh Indians every year and more than 1,400 every day.
    • India has the highest TB burden in the world.
    • More than a million missing cases are notified every year.
    • Most such cases remain either undiagnosed, or are inadequately diagnosed, and are treated in the private sector.

Way Forward

  • There is still stigma attached to leprosy, because of which authorities need to administer preventive medication to all the peer groups- family, parents, etc, very discreetly.
  • Early detection and timely intervention will help in preventing disability and completely curing the disease.

Source: IE

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