Estimating that Mumbai has witnessed at least 32,862 deaths due to tuberculosis (TB) since 2012, NGO Praja on Wednesday shared projections that 18 people succumb to the infectious disease every day. Cases of tuberculosis have risen from 36,417 in 2012-13 to 50,001 in 2016-17, information obtained through the Right to Information law from government hospitals, dispensaries and clinics in Mumbai showed.
While the number of cases have increased, adherence to free treatment under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) has reduced.
The data compiled by Praja showed that from 30,828 patients undergoing Directly Observed Short Course Treatment (DOTS) in 2012, the patient count dropped to 15,767 in 2016.
The dropout rate of patients under the government programme increased by 10 per cent between 2012 and 2016.
“Data collection also shows discrepancies in RTI figures and official figures provided by the civic body,” said Milind Mhaske, the project director of Praja.
Dr Daksha Shah, head of RNTCP in Mumbai, however, said the figures projected by the NGO are through an unscientific data collection method.
“We have a dropout rate of 12 per cent and the efforts to control them are always on. Thirty per cent of the dropouts are due to migration of patients to other cities,” Shah said.
According to data from Praja, deaths due to TB were estimated to be 6,472 in 2016-17 and 5,400 in 2015-16.
In contrast, RNTCP data attributed 1,240 deaths to TB in 2016 and 1,459 in 2015 in Mumbai.
The NGO data showed that while the budget for TB control was Rs 1,951 lakh in 2016-17, its utilisation was 76 per cent.
In addition, dengue cases have shown a rapid rise in Mumbai over the years.
A survey of 20,000 households by Hansa Research showed that while official cases of dengue were recorded in 17,771 households, the survey showed that there were an estimated 1.09 lakh dengue cases in the city.
Dr Pradeep Awate, a state epidemiologist, said: “The rise is due to the viral cycle that sees an outbreak every few years. Mumbai, a coastal city, will see more cases of dengue during the monsoon.”