24.04 lakh TB patients notified in 2019, a 14 pc rise than previous year: Centre

New Delhi [India], June 24 (ANI): As part of its bid to eliminate Tuberculosis (TB) by 2025, the Central government on Wednesday released annual TB report (2020), according to which about 24.04 lakh TB patients were notified in 2019, a 14 per cent increase in TB notification as compared to the year 2018.

The report highlighted the reduction in the number of missing cases to 2.9 lakh cases as against more than 10 lakhs in 2017. Additionally, the TB notification in the private sector increased by 35 per cent with 6.78 lakh TB patients notified.

"There has been an 11 times increase in molecular testing laboratories from 123 in 2015 to 1,545 in 2019 respectively. Hence, due to easy availability of molecular diagnostics, the proportion of children diagnosed with TB increased to 8 per cent in 2019 compared to 6 per cent in 2018," it said adding that the number of missing cases reduced to 2.9 lakh cases.

As per the report, the provision of HIV testing for all notified TB patients increased from 67 per cent in 2018 to 81 per cent in 2019.

"While more than 4.5 lakh DOT centres are providing treatment in almost every village across the country, the expansion of treatment services has resulted in a 12 per cent improvement in the treatment success rate of notified patients. For 2019, it is 81 per cent compared to 69 per cent in 2018," stated the report.

Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Health Minister, while releasing the report said that the government is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of eliminating TB in the country by 2025, five years ahead of the global Target.

"To align with the ambitious goal, the programme has been renamed from Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) to National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP)," he said.

Dr Vardhan added about 6,64,584 TB patients were notified by the private sector in 2019 in the private sector which amounts to a 22 per cent increase in TB notification as compared to the year 2018.

"We need to come together to fight against TB and the stigma surrounding it," he said.

It is for the first time Central TB Division (CTD) introduced a quarterly ranking on TB elimination efforts by all the states and UTs. In the categories of larger states with more than 50 lakh population, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh were awarded as best performing States while Tripura and Nagaland were awarded in the category of smaller states with less than 50 lakh population.

Dadara and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu were chosen as the best performers among Union Territories. (ANI)