Pune: Doctors said that there is an urgent need to spread awareness about tuberculosis (TB) in the country. They emphasised that TB claims more lives than swine flu every year. Private practitioners should report TB cases to the government authorities to ensure the patients get the benefits.
Speaking to media on Friday, Joint Director of TB & Leprosy and State TB Officer Dr Padmaja Jogewar said that according to the Global TB Report 2018, an estimated 4.1 lakh people die of TB every year in India.
“The burden of suffering and economic loss caused by TB is an affront to our conscience despite the fact that it is a curable and preventable disease. The Central government has aimed to ‘End TB by 2025’. The National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Tuberculosis Elimination 2017 to 2025 lays out a roadmap for identifying the ‘missing million’ TB cases and averting the deaths due to the disease in India every year,” said Dr Jogewar.
She added the NSP lays out bold steps to move toward TB elimination, mandating notification of all TB cases, integrating the programme with general health services and expanding and streamlining diagnostics and multi-drug resistant-TB and TB-HIV services.
“Maharashtra is the second most populous state in the country and was the first large state to be fully covered under the Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) in 2003. The State has 79 reporting units, three state TB training and demonstration centres, three state drug stores, 517 sub-district units (TU), 1,520 designated microscopy centres and over 30,000 treatment support centres, all testimony to the commitment of the State government to fight TB,” said Dr Jogewar.
“Many patients take treatment from private doctors. So, they do not get the benefit provided by the government,” said Dr Jogewar.
Speaking during the interaction, Professor of Pulmonary Medicine at the DY Patil Medical College and Senior Pulmonologist from Pimpri Chinchwad Dr Tushar Sahasrabudhe said that the private and public sectors together can help patients get better services.
“With both sectors working together, there will be compulsory TB notification from the private sector. Hence, the actual prevalence of TB can be highlighted. Private players can update their knowledge with the help of government plans,” said Dr Sahasrabudhe.
He said the private sector can also contribute to patients, who expect confidentiality due to social stigma. “A lot of patients need personal attention and counselling for managing family issues, managing co-morbidities, availability round the clock and reachability can cater for a larger population.”