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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 168-172

Partnership in tuberculosis control through involvement of pharmacists in Delhi: An exploratory operational research study

1 Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 State TB Programme Officer, Chest Clinic (TB), Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, India
3 Office of WHO Representative to India, New Delhi, India
4 Government of NCT Delhi, Delhi, India
5 New Delhi TB Centre, Delhi, India
6 Delhi State TB Programme, State TB Cell, Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurav Basu
Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijp.IJP_300_18

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BACKGROUND: There are over 12,000 chemists registered in the capital city, Delhi to support patient health needs. A study was conducted to improve the tuberculosis (TB) notification rates as conceptualized by the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP). As part of the end TB mission, the feasibility of capturing data of TB patients coming to buy anti-TB drugs at the licensee level (chemists and drug shop owners) in Central Delhi area was assessed. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The prospective study was conducted from July 2017 to March 2018. TB notification through a paper-based system and self-notification through online mode were the operational modality used for engagement with chemists. A team of paramedical workers was deployed for data collection from those pharmacists who chose to notify through the paper mode. Self-notification through online mode was through the RNTCP's NIKSHAY web-based reporting platform. RESULTS: From the 330 chemists sensitized, 871 TB notifications were received during the study. Younger age groups comprised a majority of these cases with 198 (37.5%) from 21 to 30 years and 122 (23.1%) from 11 to 20 years. By the end of six visits, 28 (46%) of the 61 pharmacies that were eventually successfully sensitized had started returning the Folio cards with filled patient details. A total of 581 (66.6%) prescriptions received by the pharmacists were from government hospitals. The annual TB case notification in Central Delhi showed a significant increase from 271 TB patients/100,000 population to 871 TB patients/100,000 population during the study period when compared with expected trends in the past year (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Self-notification of TB engenders successful TB notifications from chemists. This progenitor approach to TB notification in the capital emphasizes the need to categorize pharmacists as an independent private care provider for improving TB notification across high-burden settings.


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