Concern over TB's 'missing million'
Guwahati: Doctors and health workers at the first North East TB Conference and Strategic Stakeholders Workshop for Elimination of TB by 2025 expressed concern about the "missing million" - the around one million unregistered or undetected tuberculosis patients in India who are sought to be included for treatment within the 2025 deadline.
This view was expressed by key strategic stakeholders such as the TB Association of NE India, Public Health Foundation of India, The Union (an NGO), National Health Systems Resource Centre and Environmental National Agency, who participated in the conference-cum-workshop held under the auspices of the Tuberculosis Association of India and Swasth Uttar Purv under the DoNER ministry here on Saturday.
Globally, there are three million unregistered TB patients - those treated at private medical facilities, those who have not undergone treatment after diagnosis of the disease and cases that have remained undetected.
The mandate for elimination of TB by 2025 is in accordance with the Centre's new approach to tackle TB globally, nationally and regionally.
The conference brought together for the first time civil societies across the country on a common platform to support and strengthen TB control efforts in the region. It sought to harness the strengths and expertise of partners in technical and implementation areas, and to empower affected communities in TB care and control. It comprised technical agencies, NGOs, community-based organisations, affected communities, professional bodies and the academia.
The incidence of TB is 333 per one lakh of the population in Assam. The number of registered TB patients is 15,814, those notified from the public sector is 36,724 and that from the private sector is 4,127. Of the 15,814 registered patients, 79 per cent have been cured, seven per cent have defaulted on treatment and five per cent died.
Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary said, "I am happy that we now have national, global and dedicated regional partners in the Northeast to give the clarion call of TB-free NE, augmenting the goal of TB-Free India by 2025. The Northeast parameters of TB are unfortunately alarming, hence I urge all strategic partners to come up with a time-bound visible plan to prevent the TB bacteria from further spreading in the region."