Nearly 2,000 new tuberculosis (TB) cases have been detected during the ongoing third phase of active case finding (ACF) campaign to detect TB in high-priority and vulnerable areas of 20 districts. The campaign that began on December 4 will end on Monday.
According to statistics furnished by the Health Department, the highest number of cases have been detected in Belagavi (414) and the least in Ramanagaram (17). While 47 new positive cases have been detected in Bengaluru city, a considerable number of cases were diagnosed in Ballari (301) and Vijayapura (172), followed by Koppal (165).
ACF activity was initially started in the country from 50 districts in Phase 1, from January 16 to 31 this year. In Karnataka, during the 1st phase, Bengaluru city, Bengaluru Urban and Bengaluru Rural districts were covered. Around 100 new TB cases were detected.
The second phase was carried out in the State from July 17 to 31 in 11 districts, including the three covered in the first round. Around 1,600 new TB cases were detected and were put on treatment. The 20 districts taken up in the third phase include the 11 that were covered in the second phase.
Although the Union Health Ministry’s revised estimates put the incidence of tuberculosis in India at 217 per one lakh population in 2015, Karnataka is struggling to detect 101 cases per one lakh population a year.
This means the State has a long way to go in identifying TB cases, which according to sources, are either going undiagnosed, unreached or are being treated by private doctors without being notified. In 2016, only 60,000 new TB cases were notified in Karnataka.
TB is a notifiable disease in the country since May 2012, for which the government has set up a web-based, case-based notification network called NIKSHAY. Despite awareness regarding mandatory TB notification, a significant number of private practitioners in the State do not report the cases. Sources in the Health Department said this had led to cases being left out of government data.