Support for Priority Areas in the RNTCP
• Strengthening of the State TB Training and Demonstration Centers:
- It has been realized that the RNTCP at the state level requires strengthening since functional State TB Training and Demonstration Centres (STDC) do not exist in many states. National institutes need to assist the programme in strengthening STDCs, especially the technical components.
• External Quality Assurance (EQA) and Drug Resistance Surveillance (DRS):
- The Institute has been identified as the nodal centre for the development of the updated RNTCP EQA protocol, and the training of STDC laboratory personnel in the EQA procedures. The states of Maharashtra & Orissa have already been taken up for capacity building to carry out DRS. In the year 2005-06; DRS will be carried out in Maharashtra and Orissa.
• Appraisals and Internal Evaluation of the RNTCP:
- The Institute actively assists the Central TB Division, DteGHS, in the appraisal and internal evaluation of RNTCP districts. It has successfully led four such teams for internal evaluation of districts in the states of Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
• Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Activities:
- IEC is a very important tool and is essential for any TB control programme, as health providers need considerable education about the disease and its management. A large volume of IEC materials on TB has been made available by the Central TB Division. NTI is well-placed to augment these efforts, as it has a well-equipped library information service. It has also been a partner in the Health Inter Network India Pilot Project-Tuberculosis, whereby an NTI website has been created as well as a scientific gallery. In 2003, a separate IEC section was established within the Institute.