The Nikshay Poshan Yojana, the Central Govermnnt’s scheme to give Rs. 500 a month for nutritional support to tuberculosis patients (TB) patients, has failed to find enough takers in Assam.
The scheme under the Centre’s Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) so far has reached to just about 3208 of the total 22,534 TB patients in Assam , Dr NJ Das, State Programme Officer, RNTCP, told Northeast Now.
According to Assam State TB Cell officials the scheme, so far has not reached out to a significant number of TB patients due to lack of active bank account of the beneficiaries.
“While many patients don’t have bank accounts, some others have accounts but they are not active due to lack of activity,” said a State TB Cell official.
The TB cell has also failed to capture bank details of its target patients.
“Many beneficiaries have not registered their bank details with the TB Cell. Transferring the amount to the patients, therefore, is a big problem,” the official added.
He said that 450 TB patients, who were selected this year, failed to avail the benefit of the scheme as they don’t have active bank accounts.
The official further informed that the cell will soon transfer the money to another 1100 TB patients under the scheme as initiation of the payment to these patients has already been made.
According to the official, the bank account of another 6187 beneficiaries has been validated.
A TB survivor from Central Assam’s Morigaon district said as the process of transfer of money to the bank accounts of TB patient is very slow, government should launch special drive and money should be deposited to the bank accounts of the patients under the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme.
The nutritional support scheme came into effect on April 1, 2018, to help TB patients make up for the calories, and most importantly, the protein their bodies lack, so as to respond better to treatments.
According to physicians, if the TB patient does not improve nutritionally, they will not respond positively to treatment.