Amitabh Bachchan, is the face of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) new TB campaign that will look at fighting back drug-sensitive cases. TB control in slums and access to rapid diagnosis for multi-drug resistant cases will be their taken up says, Commissioner Sitaram Kunte.
The campaign features two videos in which the actor talks about not ignoring cough for more than two weeks. The campaign on television will be backed up by radio jingles and poster campaigns. Mumbai records over 30,000 new drug-sensitive cases of tuberculosis every year. As of October 2014 Mumbai has 7,330 undergoing multiple drug resistant TB (MDRTB).
Actor Amitabh Bachchan disclosed publicly for the first time that he had tuberculosis just when he had begun shooting for a television game show in 2000. He made the revelation while launching BMC's campaign against tuberculosis.
The actor said he has never spoken about the ailment in public but now it was the time to spread awareness. "I continued working with the ailment. Nowadays there are good medicines. There is nothing more that you need to do apart from taking medicines on time" said the actor. "Earlier TB patients used to be sent to sanatoriums but now we have good care" Bachchan said.
Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer, BMC said, "Even in the polio programme, we saw the impact that Mr. Bachchan's message had on people. With his personal experience, he will have more connect with people in spreading awareness".
Dr Jagdish Prasad, Director general of health services, made an appeal to Bachchan and the film fraternity to adopt slums and ensure cleanliness. In response to that, Bachchan offered to learn the means to do the same and also promised to seek the support of film industry in adopting slums and bringing about positive change. Also present at the event were Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
State health and family welfare minister Dr Deepak Sawant appealed to private physicians to suspect and diagnose patients for TB without unnecessarily treating them for viral fever.
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