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सेमिनार: अंग्रेज़ी सीखने का अवसर (23 सितंबर: दोपहर 3 बजे)
Q. Tuberculosis cases of India: Discuss the issue of tuberculosis in India.
May 12, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

The Lancet in the month of February 2017, published a study on tuberculosis cases in India. According to its finding 2.2 million cases of tuberculosis go unreported in India. If these reports are true, then it should ring alarm bells in government. 

Tuberculosis and India-

  • India has already highest number of tuberculosis (TB) patients in the world, and this report claiming additional 2.2 million cases are indeed worrying.
  • India has made an effort to spread awareness on TB and declared it as notifiable disease in 2012.
  • TB control programmes, government has tried to improve patient adherence to the regimen by trying to get community members to ensure that a patient takes her or his medication on time and for the mandatory period of six months.

Issues and reports-

  • According to Lancet Journal, a large number of private TB cases are invisible to the government reporting system. 
  • Report claims that it has noticed additional 2.2 million cases of TB in India which were unreported, other than the government list. 
  • As TB declared as a notifiable disease in May 2012, as a result, private doctors and institutions were to report to the government on the cases they treated.  But only a fraction of the private cases get reported. 
  • The recently published study from Imperial College, London, seems to suggest that the problem is bigger than is presently recognised.

Suggestions-

  • Surveillance on TB patients being treated by public and private doctors needs to be made more strictly with detailed reporting. 
  • Central and State governments need to ensure the required funds are ploughed into robust reporting systems. 
  • Diagnosis should be through globally accepted tests and the Centre needs to support this so that prices do not escalate for the patient. 
  • Similarly governments needs to ensure that there is no shortage of TB drugs across the country. 

Conclusion-

Recently published Lancet report on tuberculosis raises alarm bell on India’s health system. Governments at Centre and States needs to take this issue seriously and have to cross check. Similarly governments need to ensure all the steps to cure TB patients. People should be made aware of TB through various programmes to prevent spread of this disease further. 


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