Science & Tech

The TN-KET initiative in Tamil Nadu has resulted in fewer TB deaths

Tamil Nadu has pioneered a statewide initiative called TN-KET (Tamil Nadu Kasanoi Erappila Thittam) to reduce tuberculosis mortality rates.

What exactly is TN-KET?

  • The goal of TN-KET is to lower the mortality rate among tuberculosis patients.
  • This initiative, which started in April 2022, has already resulted in a significant decrease in the number of early TB deaths.

Characteristics that are unique

  • Differentiated TB Care is at the heart of the initiative, which aims to determine whether people with TB require ambulatory care or hospitalisation to manage severe illness at the time of diagnosis.
  • Radiological evaluation: The guidelines require a thorough evaluation of 16 clinical, laboratory, and radiological parameters.
  • Assessment triage: The preliminary assessment of patients based on just three conditions — severe malnutrition, respiratory insufficiency, and inability to stand without assistance — was discovered to be feasible for rapid identification at diagnosis.

Outcome: Significant reduction in early-stage tuberculosis deaths.

  • The above features significantly reduce the delay while increasing the chances of saving lives.
  • The initiative met its initial goal of 80% triaging, 80% referral, comprehensive assessment, and confirmation of severe illness, and 80% admission among confirmed patients.
  • The state’s goal for each district is to achieve 90%-90%-90%.

Important challenges

  • The challenge is to extend the length of stay, particularly for people suffering from severe malnutrition, who account for half of all admitted patients.
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