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IITG develops new app to fight TB

 GUWAHATI, June 7 - In a major step towards eradication of tuberculosis (TB), the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IITG) is developing a mobile application that can help keep track of the patient’s medication trend right from the point of diagnosis (designated microscopy centre).

The new application will act beyond the existing DOTS 99 which helps in tracking the progress only after the patient reports back to the physician for medication after being diagnosed with the disease.

The new app is being developed by the design department of IIT Guwahati and is likely to be launched by next month, Dr NJ Das, State Project Officer (RNTCP), told this reporter on the sidelines of a media roundtable on TB.

The app will be launched on pilot basis in Kamrup (Metro) and Nalbari districts.

Dr Das said that the app was demonstrated to them on Wednesday after which some modifications were suggested.

“Through the app, the moment a person is diagnosed with TB, his or her personal details will be enrolled right at the microscopy centre and even if he or she chooses not to follow up with the physician, the person concerned can be tracked and proper medication can be ensured,” experts working on the project said.

Earlier at the media round table organised by Resource Group for Education and Advocacy on Community Health (REACH), Dr Dhruba Jyoti Deka, WHO consultant, informed that 37,000-38,000 TB cases are detected annually in the public sector hospitals in the State, with another 2,000-3,000 reported from the private sector.

Dr Deka dwelt at length on the vulnerability of people living in tea gardens, the border areas, char areas, slums, industrial units and children below 14 years of age.

REACH consultant Dr Jaya Shreedhar emphasised the role of media in reporting on TB cases to create greater awareness as well as help in its eradication.

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