(Eds: Corrects figure in intro, minor corrections in body)
New Delhi, Dec 12 The number of tuberculosis patients in the country has risen to 18.62 lakh in 2018 till November from 18.27 lakh a year ago, the Rajya Sabha was told.
The increase of 15,000 patients is due to initiatives like expansion of repaid diagnostics and engaging with the patients seeking care in the private sector and community engagement, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey said in a written reply in the House Tuesday.
The ministry has developed the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Tuberculosis (2017-2025) with the goal of eliminating TB by 2025, he said.
The key focus areas include early diagnosis of all the TB patients, prompt treatment with quality assured drugs and treatment regimens, along with suitable patient support systems to promote adherence, the minister said.
It also includes molecular testing services across the country, increased notification from private sector and community, prevention strategies including active case-finding and contact-tracing in high risk/vulnerable population, airborne infection control and multi-sectoral response for addressing social determinants, he added. PLB RCJ HMB