NEW DELHI: Nehru Nagar with its rising cases of tuberculosis (TB) has become a cause for concern. The Union Health Ministry has put the area in the red zone.
According to ministry statistics, the area reported 2,729 cases of TB in the past year. The stats for the national capital seem to be equally alarming. In 2017, Delhi recorded around one lakh cases of TB — the highest in the country — of which 387 were fatal.
But, a doctor at AIIMS attribute the high number of cases to the availability of top-class medical care in the city. “It is natural that people from all over the country come to Delhi for treatment. Hence, the recorded number of cases in the capital is high.”
In 2015, Delhi recorded 337 TB-related deaths while the number went up to 387 in 2017. “Pollution is another factor that needs to be taken into account. Given the high levels of pollution and particulate matter, the chances of contracting TB are very high in Delhi,” said Brihaspati Kumar Pandey, member of the Global Coalition of TB activists.
He added extensive construction of Metro and other activities that is increasing the particulate matter in Nehru Nagar area. “This is resulting in higher number of TB cases. Also, the area is pretty congested. There is no provision for wind to carry off the particulate matter.”