by The Welthi Bureau | 3 JULY 2018
Chennai, 2nd July 2018: The National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) has joined hands with National Institute of Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) to offer the 'Manage Tuberculosis – an online certification course for Doctors.'
Tuberculosis continues to be a major public health problem in much of the developing world. India has nearly one-fourth of the global TB patients, and an estimated 4.8 lakh lives are lost every year due to this illness. The End TB strategy of the World Health Organisation (WHO) seeks to achieve 95% reduction in TB mortality and 90% reduction in TB incidence by the year 2035.
The National Strategic Plan of the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) intends to achieve the same by 2025. Therefore, it is important to build the capacity of doctors to appropriately diagnose and treat TB. There have been major advances recently in the diagnosis and treatment of TB, along with new national and international guidelines.
This 8-week course aims to sensitise doctors both in the public and private sector to the standards of care and the new guidelines and developments in the modern management of TB. It was prepared in consultation with experts in the field of TB management and covered the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of TB as a public health problem. NPTEL has provided the support for recording and hosting on the portal, along with coordination for the conduction of final exams. The course has been planned to account for the work schedules of doctors in practice, and consists of video lectures, case discussion scenarios and video demonstrations of laboratory procedures.
On the importance of this course, Prof. Andrew Thangaraj, NPTEL coordinator at IIT Madras, said, "We believe that this is the first course of this nature addressing a specific disease of public health importance in India. We hope that it will benefit doctors treating TB patients and help them to offer care of a higher order to their patients." He added that there was vast potential to develop online courses in a range of subjects and the NPTEL would welcome new proposals and coordinate the offering of the same.
Dr. Sanjay Mehendale, former Additional Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) advised the organisers to explore the feasibility of awarding CME credit points for the course as that would encourage a larger participation among doctors.
The course was launched by Shri. Madhusudhan Reddy IAS, Deputy Commissioner (Health), Greater Chennai Corporation, at ICMR-NIRT in the presence of Dr. Srikanth Tripathy, Director-in-Charge of NIRT. Mr. Madhusudhan Reddy expressed the need for such a course in view of the 'End TB' Strategy and the 'TB Free Chennai' initiative that have been rolled out recently, and urged all doctors to participate.
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