Notified cases increase by 16%: Tuberculosis India Report 2019

An increase of 16% as compared with 2017 and the highest so far noted, says Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Published - September 26, 2019 02:15 am IST - New Delhi

In 2018, the Revised National Tuberculosis Programme (RNTBP) was able to achieve notification by 21.5 lakh persons, which is an increase of 16% as compared to 2017 and the highest so far noted, said Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan while launching the ‘TB Harega , Desh Jeetega ’ campaign here on Wednesday, along with the National Tuberculosis (TB) Prevalence Survey.

The estimated TB incidence in India stands at 27 lakh. Dr. Vardhan, however, noted there were still 5.5 lakh patients who were “lost” in the country. “There are still 5.5 lakh TB patients in our country whom we are not being able to find. This isn’t a small number, but it is also not such a massive number either. The good news is that we have the tools now to be able to track them,” he said., we have the latest state-of-the-art machine tools, equipment and diagnostic facilities. Under the national strategic plan for ending TB, the RNTCP is strengthening private sector engagement to reach out to more TB patients, to improve access to TB care, and the provision of incentives to doctors for notifying TB patients and treatment outcomes,” he said.

Dr. Harsh Vardhan also released the TB India Report 2019; the Workplace Policy Framework for TB; Operational Guidelines for an employer-led model on TB; a ‘Training Module for Transforming TB Survivor to TB Champion’; and ‘The Elected Representative’s Handbook on TB’.

The Health Ministry also launched an all-oral regimen kit for multi-drug resistant TB patients, which does not include injections, and announced a partnership with the World Bank, which is providing $400 million credit for accelerating TB response in 9 States through private sector engagement and other critical interventions.

Meanwhile, the report noted that notification of TB from private sector healthcare providers reached 5.4 lakh persons — an increase of 40%, contributing to 25% of all TB notifications.

“The year 2018 was another milestone in the progress towards ending TB in India, with leaping advances in several areas. We are the closest ever to covering all TB cases through the online notification system (NIKSHAY) in the country,” added the Minister.

According to the report, at least 49,733 cases were detected due to the efforts under the Active Case Finding Campaign, under which 14.4 crore vulnerable people were screened.

In April 2018, the government launched the Nikshay Poshan Yojana, a direct benefit transfer scheme, to provide nutritional support to TB patients. Under the scheme, TB patients receive ₹500 per month for the entire duration of treatment. The report said that since the inception of the scheme, a total amount of ₹427 crore had been paid to over 26 lakh beneficiaries through direct transfers to their bank accounts.

“Treatment supporters were paid a total of ₹17 crore as honorarium. Patients from tribal areas received a total of ₹1.8 crore as transport support. Approximately ₹1 crore was paid to private providers as incentives for notification,” the report said.

The Ministry also awarded States for their excellent performance in tackling TB. Among States with a large population, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat were awarded as best performers, while Tripura and Sikkim were recognised for their efforts among medium-population states. Puducherry, and Daman and Diu, were judged as the best performers among Union Territories.

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