NEW DELHI: The government’s
initiative, to encourage adoption of TB patients and looking after their nutritional needs, is an “instant success”. The President launched it on Friday and within three days, over 1.7lakh TB patients have been adopted, health ministry sources said.
“There are about 13.5 lakh TB patients in India who are undergoing treatment. Of them, nearly nine lakh have consented to participating in the adoption scheme. Our aim is to find voluntary donors for each one of them,” an official said. Sources also said health minister Mansukh Mandaviya plans to adopt TB patients from
block in Bhavnagar, Gujarat where he was born.
Nikshay is a combination of words that means eradication of tuberculosis. Health ministry sources said data of all TB patients who have given consent for the adoption scheme is available online. “Those interested in adopting one or more patients will have to fill up a form committing to provide nutritional support. That is a must. But, if someone wants, they can also help such patients or their family members find a vocation or help in other ways,” sources said.
UP (4,416) has seen maximum enrolment for adoption of TB patients so far, followed by MP (2,286) and Maharashtra (643) among others.
Officials said the idea behind the initiative is two-fold: first, to make the TB eradication programme a people’s movement; and second, to provide additional financial and social support to people suffering from the infection.