‘Workshop for Corporate Hospitals on Enhancing Quality of TB Care’ was held at Hotel Lalit, New Delhi on Feb 29th, 2024

– a milestone in strengthening the Private Public Partnership in TB in the country
As we are fast approaching 2025, the last mile for achieving SDG Targets pertaining to TB Elimination in the country intensifies. Recognizing the vast potential for Corporate Hospitals to lead by example in implementing systems for adhering to TB care standards, especially in a country like India where the private healthcare sector diagnoses over 50% of TB cases, a workshop was organized under the leadership of the Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India. The workshop was organized by The Union-led Corporate TB Pledge initiative under the USAID-supported iDEFEAT TB Project in collaboration with the Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI). More than 60 representatives from more than 20 hospitals participated in the Workshop.
Dr K K Tripathy, Economic Advisor (TB), MoHFW, Govt. of India, delivered the keynote address. Dr Rajendra P Joshi DDG (TB), Dr Alok Mathur ADDG (TB), Dr Sanjay Kumar Mattoo ADDG (TB), Miss Michelle Lang Alli – Director of the Office of Health USAID India, Dr Ranjani Ramachandran WHO India, Dr B K Vashishat, STO Delhi, Dr Sunil Khetarpal Director, AHPI and Dr Jyoti Jaju, Director iDEFEAT TB Project, Dr. Sanjeev Singh, Medical Superintendent, Amrita Hospitals addressed the workshop. Representatives from Baby Memorial Hospitals Calicut and Aster DM Healthcare India delivered presentations on their experiences in implementing ‘STEPS’ (System for TB Elimination in Private Sector) Centres to the participating corporate hospitals.
Participant hospitals agreed to join the ‘STEPS’ movement with a commitment to initiating ‘STEPS’ centers to ensure uniform high Standards of TB Care for all individuals seeking treatment in their facilities. The STEPS center is a single window within the hospital to help and guide people affected with TB to receive high standards of TB care including diagnosis, treatment, public health actions, and linkages to social welfare schemes. Intensified Case finding through robust screening, prompt case notification, treatment initiation, follow-up for adherence, monitoring of treatment, management of co-morbidity, contact investigations, and preventive therapy for the contacts will be offered as a package through the hospital. The STEPS is an initiative based on the social responsibility of the private sector. It’s a patient-centric model. Already 1200 hospitals in Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu are part of STEPS movement.
As part of a broader agenda to improve the quality of healthcare nationwide, AHPI launched the ‘AHPI END TB Initiative’ in collaboration with the Corporate TB Pledge initiative. This initiative seeks to advocate for systems that guarantee uniform standards of TB care by encouraging the implementation of STEPS across AHPI member hospitals and encouraging them to extend their reach, resources, and expertise in supporting the National mission to achieving the SDG targets pertaining to TB Elimination. 20 corporate hospitals in Delhi NCR have committed to initiate STEPS. This collaborative effort marks a significant step forward in the fight against TB, demonstrating a collective commitment to improving the quality of healthcare and ultimately reducing the burden of TB in India.

Address from Key Dignitaries during the workshop –
Dr KK Tirpathy Economic Advisor (NTEP), MoHFW appreciated the efforts of the private sector in supporting NTEP activities in India and suggested that the STEPS model will definitely add value to reduce TB burden.

Dr Rajendra P Joshi DDG (TB), congratulated the efforts of the corporate hospitals and their contribution in improving case notifications from the private sector and recommended that corporate hospital managements monitor the case notifications, treatment adherence, and high standards of TB Care at their facility by implementing the STEPS.
Ms Michelle Lang-Alli, Director, Office of Health, USAID appreciated the role of private and public sector partnerships in improving and ensuring the standards of TB care in India. USAID supported iDEFEAT TB project through Corporate TB pledge is playing a crucial role as a catalyst in corporate sector engagement in a systemic way.

Dr Sunil Khetarpal, Director AHPI in his address explained about how AHPI launched the End TB initiative to advocate systems like STEPS for ensuring uniform standards of TB care through the member hospitals. Through this initiative AHPI initialy intends to conduct a phase wise activity to implement STEPS in the hospitals of 5 major cities and scale up the advocacy work for implementation of STEPS to other member hospitals across the country.

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