Rise in reporting of TB cases to help tackle the malady: officials

The number of tuberculosis cases reported in Rajasthan has registered a whopping 45 percent rise from 1.05 lakh in 2017 to 1.6 lakhs in 2018, State T B Officer Vinod Garg said recently. Dr. Garg, however, attributed the significant rise in reporting of the TB cases in the state to better and closer coordination between the private sector healthcare providers and the government authorities under the Centre’s JEET or the Joint Effort for Elimination of TB program (JEET). The center had launched JEET last year to encourage private healthcare providers to report TB cases to the government to improve its treatment outcome.

Highlighting that JEET program is being implemented in over 23 districts of the state, Dr Tushar Parmar, a representative of NGO William J Clinton Foundation, said greater outreach and engagement with the private sector in Rajasthan has resulted in a significant increase in reporting of TB cases.

He further highlighted the plan to expand engagement with the private sector for reporting TB cases across the state.

Parmar said reporting of TB cases by private health care providers in Rajasthan has significantly improved as around 28.8 percent of total TB cases — 46,196 out of 1,60,168 — in 2018 were notified by private doctors and hospitals as compared to 19.9 percent in 2017.

With greater notification of TB patients by private doctors, chemists, diagnostic labs etc and greater treatment reporting by private doctors, the government can monitor the treatment outcomes among privately-treated patients and ensure their completion, he said.

TB Officer Garg highlighted the need to create greater awareness among people about various recent initiatives to eliminate TB, including the Nikshay Poshan Yojana, a scheme for nutritional support to TB patients, as per which a sum of Rs 500 is directly transferred to patients’ bank accounts every month during the entire treatment period.

From April 1, 2018, to August 19, 2019, more than 1,58,251 patients have received the benefits under the scheme in Rajasthan, he said.

He added over one lakh SMSs were sent to patients in May 2019 to encourage them to be part of the NPY, which was rolled out in April 2018.

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