By – Anupam Singh Sengar
Fujifilm India Pvt Ltd, a worldwide medical equipment manufacturer, has announced the beginning of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and stop TB from spreading in India.
Fujifilm India Pvt Ltd is introducing a mobile van with an x-ray facility, as well as a field team and community volunteers, as part of the campaign titled “Never Stop: Screening to Reduce Diagnostic Delays,” which aims to raise awareness about tuberculosis and identify individuals with TB symptoms among vulnerable and marginalized sections of society.
Fujifilm India has launched this campaign in collaboration with the National TB Elimination Programme to support the government’s goal of making India TB-free by 2025. (NTEP). The NTEP will assist with TB testing and deliver TB medications in accordance with program standards through its current network of labs. Through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID iDEFEAT TB Project), the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), a global leader in lung health, will provide technical assistance.
“Tuberculosis is a serious and rising health problem in India, with many people losing their lives every year,” said Koji Wada, Managing Director, Fujifilm India Pvt Ltd, at the launch of the campaign. Fujifilm has always been dedicated to bringing the greatest healthcare technology and advances to the globe in order to make it a better and healthier place.”
“According to a research issued by the Worldwide Tuberculosis Report 2020, India accounts for a quarter of the global TB burden and continues to lead the list of tuberculosis patients,” said Dr. Sudarsan Mandal, DDG TB Central TB Division. The partnership with Fujifilm India is a step forward in both the public and private sectors in strengthening tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic capacity with Fujifilm’s innovative equipment, resulting in an increase in TB case identification and thus contributing to the country’s goal of eliminating TB by 2025.
The campaign is also a part of the ‘Business TB Pledge (CTP),’ a USAID-supported effort started in 2019 with the Government of India to mobilize India’s corporate sector to battle tuberculosis, promote awareness of tuberculosis as a curable illness, and, ultimately, improve TB health outcomes.
Fujifilm will use Qure.ai’s artificial intelligence technology to deliver door-to-door TB awareness and fast interpretation of mobile digital x-rays as part of the campaign. For the next nine months, this community-based tuberculosis screening initiative will serve migrant workers, slum dwellers, and rural and semi-urban populations in and around industrial pockets in 25 districts across states, including UT Chandigarh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
For on-the-ground community mobilization, the initiative has collaborated with Apollo Tyres Foundation, Ambuja Cement Foundation, GAIL India, and TCI Foundation.