TB notification goes down in 21 districts of Maharashtra thi
The crucial exercise of notifying tuberculosis (TB) cases — a pre-requisite to rein in the growing burden of the disease — has taken a severe beating in 21 districts of the state between January 1 and August 22 this year.

The latest review report revealed that Aurangabad has registered the maximum 38% drop in reporting the estimated TB cases, followed by Jalgaon (37%). The rural parts of Pune, Nashik and Kolhapur have also registered a drop in their respective reporting work.

Around 1.9 lakh TB cases are diagnosed in Maharashtra every year. Of them, 1.3 lakh cases are being notified by the public healthcare units and 60,000 by private medical practitioners. But in reality, an estimated 2.65 lakh TB cases are expected to be notified in a year in Maharashtra. That means, 75,000 cases go missing in a year.

The onus of these missing cases (not notified to the government) mainly rested with private healthcare providers, experts said. “We have made every effort to increase TB notification from private doctors over the last few years. But there has been little progress,” state tuberculosis officer Padmaja Jogewar said. “We have so far acted lenient and didn’t invoke provisions of law against any doctor. But after this drop in notification in 21 districts, we are left with no option but to take a legal action against erring doctors in public interest,” she told TOI.

In 2012, the Union government made it mandatory for doctor to notify TB cases. “When it didn’t yield much result, the Maharashtra government made a legal provision by which we can impose a fine of Rs10,000 to Rs50,000 on a doctor for failing to report a case,” Jogewar said. “Besides, we have been holding workshops in association with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in every district to involve participation. We also started the Joint Effort for Elimination of Tuberculosis (JEET) in 2018-19.

It is currently operational in 13 municipal corporations of the state. The objective is to identify 15 lakh missing TB patients (not notified by private doctors) in the country in the next three years,” she said. There has been little progress despite all these efforts to increase notification and bring every TB patient on the government’s radar. “Prior to 2012 , private doctors in Maharashtra would report 1,000-1,500 TB cases in a year. The number has now gone up 60,000. It’s an achievement,” she said. Sunil Bhadkumbhe, assistant director (TB) in the state health department, said, “Compared with private doctors, notification of TB patients from government healthcare units is almost 100%.”

The experts said the private healthcare units’ lukewarm response to notify TB cases to the local health authorities was likely to undermine the government’s target to eliminate the disease by 2025. “More than 60% of patients in the city approach private doctors, hospitals and clinics for treatment. Unless they are active to notify the cases, it is not possible to understand the disease burden and initiate appropriate interventions,” said Vaishali Jadhav, assistant medical officer of health (AMoH), Pune Municipal Corporation. “In 2015, we had recorded 4,465 newly diagnosed TB patients in Pune city. Of them, private healthcare providers had reported only 687 patients. In 2018, we recorded 6,171 cases. Of them, 2,685 cases were notified by the private healthcare providers,” she added.

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/tb-notification-goes-down-in-21-dists-of-state-this-year/articleshow/70883384.cms
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