Maharashtra government's tuberculosis registry programme is slated to cover 27 municipal corporations instead of the current 13

WHO data reveals that while India diagnoses 2.8 million new TB patients every year, only 1.6 million are notified in the national registry for tuberculosis.

Myupchar September 10, 2019 09:38:40 IST
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Maharashtra government's tuberculosis registry programme is slated to cover 27 municipal corporations instead of the current 13
  • The Maharashtra government may soon extend a programme to register tuberculosis patients from 13 to 27 municipal corporations

  • WHO data reveals that while India diagnoses 2.8 million new TB patients every year, only 1.6 million are notified in the national registry for tuberculosis

  • This is because at least 1 million patients (some estimates say the number may be much higher) are in the care of private doctors and they are never registered with state governments

The Maharashtra government may soon extend a programme to register tuberculosis (TB) patients from 13 to 27 municipal corporations, according to reports by local journalists. TB is a contagious bacterial disease. Patients who receive no treatment or inadequate treatment put other people around them at risk.

Data from the India chapter of the World Health Organization (WHO) show that while India diagnoses 2.8 million new TB patients every year, only 1.6 million are notified in the national registry for tuberculosis. This is because at least 1 million patients (some estimates say the number may be much higher) are in the care of private doctors and they are never registered with state governments.

Maharashtra governments tuberculosis registry programme is slated to cover 27 municipal corporations instead of the current 13

Representative image. AP

Since 2012, the government of India has made it mandatory for medical practitioners as well as chemists and clinical test labs to notify the local health authority when they diagnose a patient or dispense medication for TB. To make this simpler,  government agencies have created a web-based reporting programme (https://nikshay.in/). Additionally, patients are also being encouraged to notify the authorities.

Joint Effort for Elimination of Tuberculosis (JEET) - a public-private programme - was started by a non-profit society World Health Partners in June 2018, to encourage more private clinics and doctors to register patients seeking treatment in their centres.

Initially launched in seven cities with funding and support from the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics (FIND), JEET has since spread its network to 45 cities and 348 districts, according to a press release from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

According to the WHP website, JEET has enabled the registry of 83,440 TB patients.

Prevention is better

The programme to register TB patients has a two-pronged aim: to make sure that patients complete their treatment and avoid the risk of getting drug-resistant TB. Second, to stop the spread of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection which usually affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body.

In the same spirit to prevent the spread of TB, here is a quick list of measures you can take protect yourself and loved ones from infection:

  • Wear a face mask or use a handkerchief to cover your nose and mouth, if someone around you is coughing
  • Your doctor may advise a tuberculin skin test if he or she suspects that you could have tuberculosis infection. It is important to get the test done and start treatment as soon as possible, to save your loved ones from infection
  • If your test comes back positive, it is a good idea to stay at home in a ventilated room. Remember to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, to prevent the spread of TB bacteria
  • People living with HIV infection are more susceptible to TB infection. Regular checks for CD4 cell count, as well as take anti-retroviral therapy for HIV infection,  can help
  • BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guerin) vaccine is given at birth in most Indian hospitals. If you have a newborn or a baby on the way, make sure your child gets the vaccine

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. To know more on this topic, please visit https://www.myupchar.com/en/disease/tuberculosis-tb

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