Tracking missing cases of TB through pharmacies

The prevalence rate in TN is 203 cases a year per lakh population

Published: 22nd August 2016 05:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2016 05:29 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Concerned that only one-fifth of the tuberculosis cases are being reported despite an existing order that mandates these to be notified, the State Tuberculosis Control Society has approached the Tamil Nadu Drug Control Authority and Indian Medical Association to track missing cases in the State through medical shops.

Though there is a government order that every TB case should be notified to the local government health officers, most private doctors and healthcare centres are not adhering to this order. The State TB Control Society has designated field workers to check all private institutions that have not been reporting the cases.

“Now, we are getting eight notifications for every one lakh population, but there could be at least 40 per lakh. The prevalence rate in Tamil Nadu is 203 cases per lakh population per annum, but the State could register only 115 cases per annum,” Dr A Lakshmi Murali, State TB Control Officer told Express.

The society has approached the Drug Control Authority seeking help to monitor which medical shop records more sales of TB drugs so that patients could be located through shops as well.

“This will help formulate a standard treatment protocol. Now, the TB regime is not uniform among the practitioners. So the society is conducting training programme for doctors to sensitise them,” Dr Lakshmi said.

To keep track of TB cases across the country, the Union government has introduced a web-enabled application, NIKSHAY, which facilitates monitoring and provides universal access of patients’ data to officials concerned. Every health care centre should provide NIKSHAY ID to the State TB control medical officers. But many doctors and institutions do not follow this, said an official.

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