2020-06-24 17:56:00

NEW DELHI: India reported 2.4 million cases of tuberculosis (TB) in 2019, a 14% increase in the disease burden compared to the previous year, the annual TB report released on Wednesday by the Union health ministry revealed.

The report highlighted that the private sector has enabled India to close the gap in ‘missing cases’ from over 1 million to around 300,000, with the estimated incidence in India being 2.69 million.

Due to easy availability of molecular diagnostics, the report said that proportion of children diagnosed with TB increased to 8% in 2019 compared to 6% in 2018.

The report highlighted that the provision of HIV testing for all notified TB patients increased from 67% in 2018 to 81% in 2019.

“The mandatory notification policy, launch of private provider support agency (PPSA) programs, and incentives to private providers have been major contributing factors to the increase,” the report said.

Public private partnership models called Patient Providers Support Agency (PPSA) programmes are being introduced in 173 districts across the country that are ensuring patients in the private sector receive free drugs and diagnostics.

As part of active case finding efforts, in 2019, 277.4 million vulnerable people were screened, resulting in identification of 62,958 TB cases.

The report said that approved budgets towards the programme have increased substantially, from Rs640 crore in 2016-17 to Rs3,333 crore in 2019-20, representing over a five-fold increase in funding.

“Expansion of treatment services has resulted in a 12% improvement in the treatment success rate of notified patients. For 2019, it is 81% compared to 69% in 2018,” the report said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has committed to achieving the sustainable development goal of eliminating TB in the country by 2025, five years ahead of the Global Target.

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