Hindustan Times (New Delhi) (08.08.2013)
Aids Weekly Plus
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) announced that it would partner with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in a three-year, $7 million project to address TB in Mumbai, India. A key element of the project is the establishment of a real-time, digital, TB notification system that health department and private practitioners will use to register TB patients, notify them of their infection, and collect TB data. Mumbai’s TB notification system would be similar to Nikshay, a structure the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme developed to register TB cases across India.
The state health department also will support the Mumbai project by supplying a “high-tech machine” used to test drug resistance in TB patients. Mumbai identified 2,159 multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) patients in 2012. BMGF India Country Office Director Girindre Beeharry attributed Mumbai’s high MDR TB incidence to a lack of coordination among private healthcare providers and the city’s extensive slums.
BMC also planned to establish support units that will include a call center facility from which TB patients can obtain accurate information about TB and TB treatment facilities. The BMGF/BMC agreement marks the first time an international nongovernmental organization has funded a private corporation project for TB control.