Govt plans nationwide survey on TB after WHO says India underestimating the deadly disease

A day after World Health Organisation's report of the rise in tuberculosis epidemic in India, government is planning to carry out a nationwide survey after a gap of nearly 60 years.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: A day after World Health Organisation's report of the rise in tuberculosis epidemic in India, government is planning to carry out a nationwide survey after a gap of nearly 60 years.

This survey will be carried out next year in order to determine the rise in the number of patients suffering from this disease.

A senior official of the Health and Family Welfare Ministry said such a survey was last conducted in 1956.

According to the Global Tuberculosis Report-2016, "The TB epidemic is larger than previously estimated, reflecting new surveillance and survey data from India.... Six countries accounted for 60 per cent of the new cases - India, Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa."

Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda said, "New cases of TB as well deaths due to the disease have reduced. However, the number of cases notified have increased. All these cases were so far going undetected and were not being reported. After our Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), which brought private hospitals under its ambit, the notification has increased."

The Ministry official said, "Until the implementation of RNTCP, while 60 per cent of the patients were going to private hospitals, only 15 per cent were being notified. The increase in the number of cases is because of good, robust data. Now these cases are being detected, notified and addressed."

According to the WHO report, in 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new TB cases worldwide, of which 5.9 million (56 per cent) were among men, 3.5 million (34 per cent) among women and 1.0 million (10 per cent) among children, while people living with HIV accounted for 1.2 million (11 per cent) of all new TB cases.

(With PTI inputs)

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