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Agreement signed to identify patients who have dropped out of TB treatment and get them restarted

New Delhi: Indian Red Cross Society, Irish Red Cross and University College Dublin (UCD) signed an agreement here on Tuesday to develop digital humanitarian application to prevent tuberculosis in India.

The Irish Red Cross Tuberculosis programme aims to support patients who default from their treatment and develop risk of MDR (Multiple Drug Resistance) Tuberculosis. The collaboration will help to develop digital humanitarian applications in order to obtain correct assistance, according to a statement.

The memorandum of agreement (MoA) was signed by UCD president Professor Andrew Deeks, Indian Red Cross joint secretary Dr Veer Bhushan and Irish Red Cross general secretary Liam O’Dwyer. Brian McElduff, Ambassador of Ireland to India, was also present on the occasion.

Every three minutes, two tuberculosis deaths occur in India. Tuberculosis requires a long period of treatment and can take between six and eight months to cure. Many patients drop out of treatment due to stigma attached to TB and other reasons. This tuberculosis programme will identify those patients who have dropped out of treatment and to get them restarted.

The tuberculosis programme, once successful, will directly benefit 1,400 people in the two target areas: Amritsar and Jalandhar districts of Punjab and indirectly benefit 2,000 family members and more than 50,000 community members, according to the statement.

Speaking on the occasion, Professor Andrew Deeks, president, University College Dublin, said, “University College Dublin is delighted to join this programme to make it successful and assist the Indian Red Cross Society.”

Dr Veer Bhushan, joint secretary, Indian Red Cross, said, “The association with the Irish Red Cross and University College Dublin will enhance the relationship with India and Ireland.”

Brian McElduff, Ambassador of Ireland to India, said, “With expertise in technology, pharmaceuticals and aviation, Ireland is looking towards cooperating with India in these sectors.”

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