Tuberclosis cases and TB-related deaths have been rising in the district in the past few years, according to data provided by the district health authorities under the RTI Act.
While 1,318 TB cases were detected in 2012, the figure shot up to 1,630 in 2013, showing an increase of nearly 25 per cent. As many as 575 cases of TB have been detected so far this year.
The number of TB-related deaths has also been gradually increasing over the years. While 24 persons reportedly died due to TB in 2009, 43 TB patients died in 2013. Around 20 persons have died so far this year.
“Under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), free-of-cost quality drugs are provided to the TB patients and principles of Directly Observed Treatment, Short-course (DOTS) are followed. The increasing number of cases is due to more detection of patients,” said District Health Officer H S Oberoi.
He added that for first-time patients, the treatment goes on for around six months while the duration is eight months for those who contract the disease a second time. “The third category includes patients who develop drug-resistant tuberculosis. Such cases are very few in number, and their treatment takes up to 27 months,” added the health officer.
Since 2011, the number of TB patients successfully treated has shown a decline. In 2011, 88 per cent of the 544 new TB patients were cured while 72 per cent of re-treatment patients were treated successfully. The rate of success came down in 2012 and 2013, at 82 per cent and 63 per cent respectively. In 2014, until now, 80 per cent of new patients and 52.6 per cent of retreatment patients have been cured.
According to the Centre’s objectives for Phase Two of the RNTCP project, the target treatment success ratio is at least 85 per cent. District TB Officer Gurpreet Singh could not be reached for comment.