India's Kerala State Health Department announces lung health project to address TB, other respiratory diseases

India's Kerala state in November plans to implement the Practical Approach to Lung Health Project, which aims to examine the prevalence of tuberculosis and other lung diseases in the region, a health department official said recently, The Hindu reports.

The official announcement of the project will occur during the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease's Conference of the South East Asia Region, which is scheduled for Sept. 8 to Sept. 10 in New Delhi.

The project will work with India's Revised National TB Control Program and the Kerala State Department of Health and Family Welfare, with additional support from the World Health Organization, the National Rural Health Mission, and the community medicine and respiratory medicine departments of medical colleges in the Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode districts. According to The Hindu, the TB detection rate in Kerala is 68%, below India's national rate of 70%. In addition, Kerala screens a higher proportion of the population for TB, with 250 to 300 TB screenings per 100,000 people, compared with the national average of 150 TB screenings per 100,000 people. Health and TB experts have not determined the factors affecting the low detection rate in Kerala, The Hindu reports.

Kerala will be the first state to implement the lung health project, which also will examine the prevalence of non-TB respiratory diseases, The Hindu reports (Radhakrishnan, The Hindu, 9/1).

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