Odisha: IMS-SUM Experts Suggest Steps To Reverse Trend Of Under-Reporting TB Cases

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Bhubaneswar : The Centre’s ambitious goal of eradicating tuberculosis (TB) in India by 2025, five years ahead of the global target date of 2030, has encountered COVID road block.

A considerable slowed down has been observed in notification of TB cases in the country, said experts while speaking at ‘Sensitisation of Private Sector TB Service Providers’.

At the panel discussion organised by Centre for Catalysing Change (C3) in collaboration with IMS and SUM Hospital, Prof E Venkat Rao, Professor in department of Community Medicine in IMS and SUM Hospital said, reporting information on diagnosis and treatment of TB cases to nodal public health authority or officials designated by them was extremely important. Every government, private, NGO and individual practitioners providing healthcare are expected to notify such cases immediately, he said.

However, poor compliance from private healthcare sector led to underestimation of the disease burden, Prof Rao added. Regulatory approach to legal action for not notifying a patient could  be one of the options, he said.

Prof. Rao said providing incentives to private practitioners and getting their feedback and extending help in diagnostic and drug services to private sector and financial support to all patients has been suggested as a solution to reverse the trend of under-reporting of cases by NTEP.

Two TB related deaths occur every three minutes in India (about 1400 deaths everyday) as the country had the largest caseload of 2.64 million TB patients which account for 30 per cent of such cases in the world, said Dr Santosh Swain of department of General Medicine, IMS and SUM Hospital.

Dean of IMS Prof Gangadhar Sahu, Medical Superintendent Prof Pusparaj Samantasinhar and Dr. Priyadarshini Behera, Associate Professor in department of  Pulmonary Medicine were present.

The programme was also addressed by State Head Ashok Nayak and  Programme Officer of C3 Bibhuti Bhushan Pradhan.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO)’s 2021 global report, notification of TB cases in India went down by 41 per cent between 2019 and 2020 which meant all hard-earned gains in TB testing and tracking had been lost.

India, over the recent years, had been successfully inching its way towards bridging the gap between WHO estimated number of TB cases (new and relapse) and the number of TB cases notified by the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) which replaced the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) in 2020.

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