45% increase in the number of TB cases in Rajasthan

JAIPUR: You have seen a 45 percent increase in the number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the last year after the Center converted it into one, according to government data.

A total of 1.59,762 cases were reported last year compared to 1,10,044 in 2017, according to the official government website that monitors the disease.

Medical experts said that the marked increase in the number of TB cases does not mean that the actual numbers have changed, since many cases were not reported before.

Although the Ministry of Health of the Union made TB a notifiable disease in 2017, all physicians and private doctors were required to report to the ministry on new cases of contagious disease in 2018 after a related directive was approved.

The number of TB cases has increased in the last two years after the government made the decision to notify, said Dr. Purushotam Soni, TB officer of Rajasthan.

The Center had developed the 'Nikshay' portal to report TB cases in real time, he added.

According to the portal's data, TB cases increased by 45 percent during 2017 and 2018.

This year, 67,247 cases were reported, representing 20% ‚Äč‚Äčless compared to 2018. Private sector facilities recorded 47,125 cases in 2018, compared with 23,438 in 2017.

Dr. Soni said that the increase in the number of TB cases does not necessarily mean that the number of patients affected by the disease is increasing.

According to the 2019 Lancet Commission report on tuberculosis, each year 9,53,000 people with TB are not diagnosed or are not informed if they are diagnosed with the disease.

Eighty lakh lives can be saved in the next 30 years if the private sector participates actively in the notification campaign.

He said that not reporting TB cases has been declared a crime by the Ministry of Health of the Union in 2018.

The Ministry and the Global Fund Organization launched the Joint Effort to Eliminate Tuberculosis (JEET) campaign in 2018 last year and is currently running in 24 districts of Rajasthan.