Mumbai: "Unregulated" diagnostic centres mushrooming in private sector and non-qualified doctors prescribing drugs pose a big challenge to check tuberculosis in Mumbai, according to experts.
According to Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai's TB consultant Arun Bamne, the disease is a major public health concern for Mumbai due to an alarming rise in cases of drug resistant tuberculosis, which is mainly blamed on improper use of antibiotics.
"Unregulated diagnosis in private sector (hospitals) and unqualified doctors prescribing drugs still pose a big challenge to control TB," he told reporters at a workshop held here on tuberculosis yesterday.
India reports more than 25 per cent of the world's new cases annually, according a study conducted by the Corporation (MCGM).
Mumbai, due to its complexities, thick population density, slums and higher prevalence of TB infection is more prone to TB cases and currently the city has approximately 30,000 plus cases of drug sensitive TB and 6,000 plus cases of drug resistant TB, the study said.
Nearly 50 per cent patients are treated in private sector and many tests are rampantly and injudiciously utilised in private sector leading to incorrect diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in Mumbai, Bamne said.
"The city also faces deficiency of certified private labs and patients leaving treatment mid-way, are concerns to control the spreading of this disease," he added.
The expert said that MCGM, commonly known as BMC, has now taken the lead to train private medical practitioners for correct guidelines and support them with services.