BMC starts eligibility survey for adult BCG vaccination in city | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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BMC starts eligibility survey for adult BCG vaccination in city

Apr 29, 2024 06:56 AM IST

BMC in Mumbai launches adult BCG vaccination program in 12 wards to combat TB spread, aiming to evaluate vaccine efficacy in partnership with ICMR and NTEP.

Mumbai: From today, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is set to carry out a survey in its 12 wards to identify eligible individuals for the adult Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine to combat the spread of Tuberculosis (TB).

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HT Image

This initiative is part of a trial study, conducted in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP), to evaluate the vaccine’s efficacy in preventing the spread of TB.

“The adult BCG vaccination program is aimed at the vulnerable population of Mumbai to combat TB spread,” a senior health officer said. “It is a national programmatic study that will be implemented in 24 wards in the city. We have divided the 24 wards into two groups: One serving as an interventional group where vaccines will be administered, while the other wards will act as a control group in the study.”

Since 1921, BCG is the only vaccine available for TB and is typically given to newborns within 15 days of birth. ICMR and NTEP decided to revaccinate vulnerable adults with BCG to combat TB spread.

BMC plans to cover a total population of 659,932. A team of 2,203 community health workers and ASHA workers will conduct the headcount survey to identify eligible beneficiaries. “Since it is a voluntary vaccination, written consent will be taken from the eligible beneficiaries before administering the vaccine. We plan to roll out the vaccination process once we complete the headcount survey, which is expected to take two weeks,” the officer added.

Six high-risk groups, aged 18 and above, have been identified for the BCG vaccine. These groups include — TB patients in the last 5 years, household contacts of TB patients within 3 years, self-declared diabetes patients, self-declared smokers, malnourished individuals, and senior citizens.

Dr Daksha Shah, BMC’s executive health officer, emphasised a notable development, reporting a decline in Mumbai’s TB cases for the first time. In 2023 the city recorded 50,206 cases, down from 55,284 in 2022.

Despite this positive trend, there has been a worrisome increase in TB cases from areas outside Mumbai. This highlights the critical need for collaborative efforts to prevent and control the disease.

Dr Shah credited BMC’s proactive measures for the decline in TB cases in the city. These measures include providing preventative treatment to individuals in close contact with TB patients and implementing various treatment strategies, particularly for those with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB). She noted a significant improvement in the treatment success rate for drug-resistant TB, which rose from 72% in 2020 to 77 % in 2021.

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