Bel-Air was once an island of excellence when it was a TB Sanatorium. Bel-Air was praised by Dr.Sushila Nair, then the Union Health Minister,of India when she visited Bel-Air in 1962 in the following words “ Places like this must remain a dream for the vast mass of people of our generation. Yet is good to see a dream being realised even as a token of the ultimate ideal.“ Bel-Air had exceeded its anti-TB targets set by the Government of India by 400%!
The complacence created by the availability of TB treatment was one of the reasons for the neglect of Bel-Air. But history is proving that TB is coming back with a vengeance and it continues to be the number one killer disease in India even now. It has an added dimension of co-infection with HIV now. Hence in the resurgence of Bel-Air the focus on TB work is not at all lost. Bel-Air is a major NGO partner with the Governments of Maharashtra and India in the implementation of Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP). In recognition for the excellent & dedicated work Bel-Air was doing by providing treatment and adherence for TB patients from across Maharahstra, Maharashtra Government signed an MOU with Bel-Air granting Microscopy and Treatment Center in 2007. In December 2007 Satara District Tuberculosis Centre handed over a TB Unit to Bel-Air for Mahableshwar and Jaoli Talukas. This is the first time in India that a NGO has been given a TU under RNTCP. Also The Maharashtra Anti TB Association on 15th December 2008 signed an MOU with Bel-Air to enhance and compliment the work of TB through a Public Private Partnership programme for community mobilisation and sensitisation and involvement of private practitioners into RNTCP.
Bel-Air goes the extra mile
Bel-Air TB Unit has been going much beyond just achieving the targets envisaged in the RNTCP. During the period 20113-14 we had conducted a survey among health workers and it was found that most of them lacked adequate knowledge regarding DOTS program. Also it was noted that most Private Practitioners were providing treatment to TB patients but were not aware regarding the latest WHO & National Guidelines on TB treatment. Hence in 2015 Bel-Air conducted a series of trainings for Private Practitioners as well as Health Workers.
MDR TB Over the years Bel-Air has been getting patients with MDR TB on a regular basis. There were no facility for treatment for such pateints in the district. Hence as part of the RNTCP, Bel-Air, has also been sanctioned a 10 bedded Drug Resistant TB Center from January 2018 and a CBNAAT machine. It is the only hospital in the nongovernment sector admitting and treating MDR TB patients