Rajasthan has seen a 45 per cent increase in the number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the last one year after the Centre made it a notifiable disease, according to government data.
A total of 1,59,762 cases were notified last year as compared to 1,10,044 in 2017, as per the government’s official portal monitoring the disease.
Medical experts said the marked rise in number of TB cases does not mean the actual figures have changed as many cases went unreported earlier.
While the Union Health Ministry made TB a notifiable disease in 2017, all government and private doctors had to mandatorily inform the ministry on fresh cases of the communicable disease in 2018 after a related directive was passed.
The number of TB cases have increased in the last two years after the notification decision was taken by the government, Rajasthan TB officer Dr Purushotam Soni said.
The Centre had developed ‘Nikshay’ portal for reporting TB cases on a real-time basis, he added.
As per the portal data, TB cases shot up by 45 per cent during 2017 and 2018.
This year 67,247 cases have been reported so far, which is 20 per cent less compared to 2018. Private sector facilities reported 47,125 cases in 2018 compared to 23,438 in 2017.
Dr Soni said the rise in number of TB cases does not necessarily mean number of patients afflicted by the disease are rising.
As per Lancet Commission 2019 report on TB, every year 9,53,000 TB afflicted people are either not diagnosed or not reported if they are diagnosed with the disease.
Eighty-lakh lives can be saved in the next 30 years if the private sector actively participates in the notification campaign.
He said not notifying TB cases has been declared an offence by the Union Health Ministry in 2018.