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Truenat tech to play vital role in TB screening campaign

The Centre is all set to launch a special door-to-door TB screening initiative from March 24, globally observed as World TB Day. The indigenously developed Truenat platform has been deployed as a frontline tool in the government’s effort towards scaling up testing in the country.

Truenat tech to play vital role in TB screening campaign
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Truenat tech to play vital role in TB screening campaign

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Hyderabad The Centre is all set to launch a special door-to-door TB screening initiative from March 24, globally observed as World TB Day. The indigenously developed Truenat platform has been deployed as a frontline tool in the government's effort towards scaling up testing in the country.

As part of the initiative, over the next two to three weeks, health workers will visit the vulnerable population that is potentially exposed to the infection and test those found to have symptoms of the disease. The Truenat technology was endorsed by WHO in 2020 as the world's first point-of-care rapid molecular diagnostic platform for diagnosis of TB and multidrug resistance.

Globally, Tuberculosis is known to be the biggest cause of death due to an infectious disease. India contributes to over 30 of the global TB burden. While the global target for the elimination of TB is 2030, the Government of India has set an ambitious target of achieving this milestone by 2025.

TB is highly contagious but a 100 per cent curable disease, provided an accurate diagnosis is made early in the infectious cycle. To enable this, the WHO has recommended the replacement of the traditional smear microscopy technique with more sensitive and specific rapid molecular diagnostic tools such as Truenat as the first-line test for the diagnosis of TB.

This will help detect millions of patients that go undiagnosed every year and curb the further spread of the disease.

With the ability to operate in resource-limited settings with minimal dependence on infrastructure and skilled manpower, Truenat machines are being deployed at the sub-district level in the remotest corners across the country.

Over 3,500 CHCs and PHCs have been equipped with Truenat devices under the National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP) for first-line testing of TB in suspected patients. The ongoing expansion in the rollout of this technology across the healthcare chain will ensure that patients travel less and wait less to access an early and accurate diagnosis.

Truenat, designed and manufactured by Goa-based Molbio Diagnostics, is a point-of-care portable, battery-operated, IoT-enabled, Real Time PCR platform with a sample to result time of less than 1 hour. In addition to TB, the platform can test for over 30 other diseases including Covid-19, Hepatitis, HIV, Dengue, Malaria, etc.

"We are honoured to partner with the Government of India in the door-to-door TB screening initiative. It is important to screen symptomatic patients and everybody else who can be carriers of the infection," Sriram Natarajan, Director and CEO, Molbio Diagnostics, said.

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