Mumbai: BMC's Doorstep Screening Shows 13.42% Rise In TB Cases In A Year

Mumbai: BMC's Doorstep Screening Shows 13.42% Rise In TB Cases In A Year

The BMC’s health department recorded 56,113 TB cases in 2022, which shot up to 63,644 cases last year.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Friday, February 23, 2024, 12:09 AM IST
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Tuberculosis (TB) cases witnessed a 13.42% rise across the city last year over 2022. The BMC’s health department recorded 56,113 TB cases in 2022, which shot up to 63,644 cases last year.

Health officials have attributed this surge to door-to-door screening and surveillance for undiagnosed cases. Moreover, several campaigns undertaken on the lines of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme helped health workers detect the cases early and initiate treatment. 

The TB campaign

During the campaign between November 20 and December 7, 2023, 49 lakh people were screened; 14,965 presumptive TB cases were identified, and 136 cases of pulmonary TB and extra pulmonary TB cases were found. Among other initiatives to look for TB patients, the BMC also rolled out a programme to screen the relatives of pulmonary TB patients.

“We are following the national strategic plan for TB elimination – detect-treat-prevent-build. We have now added ‘search’ as the fifth pillar, owing to which the numbers are high,” said Dr Daksha Shah, BMC’s executive health officer. She said, “We have also roped in private hospitals and clinics to notify TB cases and nearly 50% of new cases have been notified by them.” 

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the city had registered 51,588 new cases in 2019 and 48,544 in 2018. However, the numbers dropped during the pandemic due to poor detection (37,943 in 2020 and 49,564 in 2021).

TB activist Ganesh Acharya said that the BMC is taking all efforts to detect new cases but also needs to ensure there is no shortage of medicines. “Last year, scores of patients had to discontinue treatment due to unavailability of drugs, which led to resistance and wider spread within the community.”

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