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Medication Event Reminder Monitor Box Launched in Punjab for TB Treatment Adherence

Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) A state level event was organised in Chandigarh, in which Medication Event Reminder Monitor (MERM) box was launched on Pilot basis in the Districts of Amritsar and Patiala. This innovative technique is in continuation of a Patient Provider Support Agency ( PPSA ) project, the Government of Punjab has awarded to World Health Partners (WHP) in February 2021 through signing an MoU . This project is ongoing in the above stated two districts of Punjab .It is pertinent to mention here that this project is being implemented in Private health sector in these districts as there is lesser adherence to treatment as well as lesser notification of this disease in the private health sector.

The MERM box was ceremoniously launched by the Director Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, Dr. G.B. Singh. Speaking regarding the MERM box Dr. G.B. Singh stated that Punjab aims to work towards the elimination of Tuberculosis ( TB ) to rapidly reduce the TB burden , morbidity , and mortality by 2025 and achieve the vision of a TB - free India .It will definitely prove to be a giant leap forward in achieving this goal. Last year, Bronze medal have been received for TB Free status for 3 districts of Punjab i.e. Fatehgarh Sahib, Kapurthala and Nawanshahr . This year the state has nominated 5 districts for Bronze medal namely Faridkot , Ferozepur , Moga , Rupnagar and Tarn Taran .

Country Director, WHP, Ms. Prachi Shukla stated in her welcome address that WHP is a non profit organization working in 10 Indian states that sets up programs to bring sustainable healthcare within easy access to underserved and vulnerable communities . It innovatively harnesses already available resources more efficiently by using evidence - based management and technological solutions .

While presenting his views on MERM technology, Dr. Yogesh Patel, Project Director, WHP, informed the participants that Patients receive drugs in a MERM box . MERM has an electronic module that records the date and time when the box lid is open . Alert mechanisms of MERM include : - Daily Medication Reminder : Green Light & Buzzer as a daily medication reminder - Refill Reminder : Yellow light to remind patient to go for refills . - Low Battery Alert : Red light to alert patient to low battery . Open - close lid of MERM box registers as a dose taken in Nikshay . This use of technology in TB treatment will be immensely helpful in enhancing the adherence rate in TB treatment.

DDG, Central TB Division, Dr. Rajendra P. Joshi congratulated the state for launching this initiative and wished success in the program.

STO Dr. Rajesh Bhaskar, Assistant Project Director PSACS Dr. Bobby Gulati, Director Programs WHP Mr. Abhishek Sharma, DTO Patiala Dr. Gurpreet Singh Nagra,director - Programs Mr. Akhilesh kumar, and project lead ppsa mr. Sukhwinder Singh , Private Practitioner Dr. Kanishq and TB Champion Ms. Suman also gave their valuable views during the launch ceremony.

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