RAIPUR: Despite Tuberculosis being declared as a "notifiable disease" in Chhattisgarh, making it mandatory for all private practitioners, clinics and caregivers to report each and every case, 47 per cent of cases are still going unreported.
The notification, aimed at ensuring proper TB diagnosis and case management, reduction in TB transmission and fighting emergence of drug resistant TB, was issued by the state government in June 2012, a month after the directions of the union health ministry. However, private doctors and clinics have reported only 50 to 60 cases since then, whereas their actual numbers runs in thousands.
"Almost 47% of TB cases are being missed by the state TB programme" said a senior official of State TB programme in Chhattisgarh. He said while the actual figures of TB patients should be about 51,840, based on the survey of Annual Risk of the disease (216 patients per one lakh population) only 27,000 were registered in 2012 under revised national TB control programme (RNTCP).
Officials of the health department admit that since private doctors and clinics cannot be penalised for non-reporting of Tuberculosis cases, they have no fear and thus continue to ignore the government's directions. As per the notification, all private practitioners shall give information of every TB case to local authorities â€” district health officer/chief medical officer of a district and municipal health officer of a municipal corporation, every month.
Talking to TOI, Dr Debashish Kundu, medical consultant, WHO, RNTCP, technical support network, said that despite the government's notification, there is no mechanism of collecting the data and private practitioner refrain from sharing information due to the fear of loosing their patients. However, he said, the government is making efforts as MDRTB (multi drug resistant Tuberculosis) package is included in RSBY (Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna) so any patient approaching private doctors for treatment or diagnosis under the smart card facility will be traced by the department.
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