Govt rolls out scheme to screen all children below 18 for leprosy, TB

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  1. The Union government has rolled out a programme for universal screening of children below 18 years for leprosy and tuberculosis(TB).
  2. An estimated 25 crore children and adolescents will be annually screened for the diseases and put on treatment if required.
  3. Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram(RBSK) Mobile Health teams will be implementing the scheme.They will perform the screening of children for TB and Leprosy.
  4. RBSK is aimed at early identification and early intervention for children from birth to 18 years to cover the four Ds (a)defects at birth (b) deficiencies (c)diseases and (d)development delays including disability.
  5. Leprosy also known as Hansen’s disease is a chronic neuro-muscular disorder.It is caused by several strains of Mycobacterium leprae.It has a long incubation period which makes detection difficult.Leprosy can be cured with Multi-Drug Therapy(MDT).
  6. India had eliminated leprosy in 2005.All states except Chhattisgarh and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli have eliminated leprosy. However,there are still 1.15-1.2 lakh new leprosy cases detected every year.
  7. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It most commonly affects the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body.
  8. TB kills an estimated 4.8 lakh Indians every year and more than 1,400 every day.India has the highest TB burden in the world and also has more than a million ‘missing’ cases every year that are not notified