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Friday, February 3, 2012

Poor detection of TB cases posing problems

Dehradun, January 31
Detection of fresh Tuberculosis cases continues to derail the State Tuberculosis programme. As a result, the state’s goal of complete eradication of TB still remains unattainable.
Medical experts say since the start of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) programme in 2004 the focus on detecting fresh cases has not been properly pursued. In all, there have been 13,800 cases of tuberculosis positive cases in the state for the year ending 2011.
Since the start of the RNTCP in 2004, the Uttarakhand government has achieved 85 per cent success in treating patients. But at the same it has failed to detect fresh cases whose number may be as high. Lack of manpower is hindering the tabulation of the state-specific data.
The State Tuberculosis Control Society in Uttarakhand says in a population of one lakh, the incidence of TB cases may be around 260 patients per year.
As of now, Dehradun has the highest number of tuberculosis (positive) cases in the state followed by Udham Singh Nagar, Nainital and Pauri Garhwal. Though there are equal number of men and women suffering from TB, the latter seem to recover faster from the disease with regular medicines.
“Women patients take the treatment seriously, though they may be under a great deal of stress while going through pregnancies and other related ailments. TB strikes when the body’s immunity is down,” said Dr Ajit Gairola, State TB programme officer.
It was only recently that the government launched a programme to take on the challenge of MDR-TB and DOTS Plus was the answer. MDR-TB is more difficult and costly to treat. Diagnosing MDR-TB cases is complex and the RNTCP has developed guidelines based on those of the WHO.

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