Tuberculosis mortality rate declines in Kolkata

Kolkata: The mortality rate of tuberculosis in the metropolis has declined from 520 in
2010-11 to 410 in 2011-12, according to a report by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).

This was possible through the effective implementation of the Union Health ministry`s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), KMC officials said.

They said sputum examination per lakh has increased from 189/p/lakh in 2010 to 224/p/lakh in 2011.

"The cure rate of new smear-positive (NSP) cases of tuberculosis has increased from 78 per cent to 79 per cent, but is still below the national target of 85 per cent," member, mayor-in-council (health) Atin Ghosh said.

The biggest challenge in effective implementation of the tuberculosis control programme here is the migrant population who default in taking medicines after being infected.

"The default rate has also come down to 6 percent, but the target is 5 per cent," said Dr Shib Kumar Singh, TB officer in Kolkata, adding that the chance of developing the disease in case of HIV patients increased by 60 per cent.

In Kolkata, the treatment is provided through more than 150 DOT treatment centres and 46 sputum microscopy centres. Both the sputum test and medicines are provided free.

India has the world`s largest number of TB patients with more than 40 per cent of the population infected.