Kochi: Aster Medcity, a leading healthcare service provider in the state, has launched the System for TB Elimination in Private Sector (STEPS) Centre under the Revised National TB Control Programme on Saturday. The STEPS Centre was inaugurated by S. Suhas, District Collector, Ernakulam, at a function presided over by Dr. Azad Moopen, Chairman, Aster DM Healthcare.
Inaugurating the STEPS centre, S. Suhas, said, “The World Health Organisation has given us a very ambitious targeting of eradicating TB from the country 2030. But the central and state governments are aiming to eradicate the disease by 2025. Now the government’s focus is more on engaging the private sector and the society. With the active participation of private healthcare providers such as Aster Medcity, we are hopeful eradicating TB by 2025.”
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Azad Moopen, said, “As a responsible healthcare provider, we feel that we should be part of the vision to eradicate TB. India has a very large population and a large number of its people are affected by the very chronic illness, which can be controlled. The governments have taken right steps for eradicating TB by 2025.”
STEPS is a single-window system for co-ordination of TB diagnosis, subsequent treatment, follow-up and patient census. Under the programme, a patient can avail of treatment from doctors and hospitals of their choice and get priority for consultation of other doctors at the same hospital. The programme will also ensure government-stipulated standard in treatment, create awareness about the disease and medicines among the patients and patients are taking medicines by visiting or calling them at regular intervals. It will also provide opportunity for the patients to conduct parallel HIV and diabetic tests and financial aid will be provided to the patients through DBT scheme.
Cdr. Jelson Kavalakkat, CEO Aster Medcity, said that more than 4000 people lose their lives every day to TB, the world’s deadliest infectious killer. The number of people falling ill with the preventable and curable disease on each day is close to 30,000, he added.
Dr. M. Sunil Kumar, State TB Officer; Dr. Sarath G. Rao, District TB Officer, Dr. T. R. John, Chief Of Medical Service , Aster Medcity; Dr. Shibu Balakrishnan and Dr. Rakesh P. S., World Health Organisation officials and Dr. Jacob Baby, Lead Consultant, Department of Pulmonology, were also present on the occasion.