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Tuberculosis: Private sector scores low on reporting cases

Less than 10% practitioners report cases, PMC holds workshops to reach out to them.

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Tuberculosis: Private sector scores low on reporting  cases
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Even as multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is becoming a major concern, less than 10% private practitioners in the city
report tuberculosis cases to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Civic officials say the focus is now on encouraging the private sector to report TB cases.

Dr ND Thakur, tuberculosis control officer, PMC, said that late or delayed treatment is the prime reason for rise in MDR-TB cases.

“We want to ensure that no TB patient’s treatment is delayed or discontinued. If a patient goes to a private medical practitioner, he might discontinue his treatment due to lack of money or interest after a few months. A TB patient starts feeling well in a few weeks, but the minimum course of treatment is six months. In private sector, tracking down TB patients does not happen often,” said Thakur.

He added that if a TB patient is reported to the civic body, they ensure that the patient doesn’t discontinue his treatment and also ensure follow-ups.

“Currently we have 450 private doctors working with us, but according to our estimates, there are more than 4,000-odd private practitioners in the city. In order to reach out to them, we have decided to hold workshops with private doctors. The first was held at Inamdar Hospital last week,” said Thakur.

On the other hand, professional bodies like the Indian Medical Association (IMA) say they have no intimation that TB cases are to be reported or referred to the civic body.

“No communication with regards to TB cases, either for reporting fresh cases, existing cases or referrals, has reached the IMA. In my knowledge, instructions about TB have not been communicated to private doctors,” said Dr Ambarish Shahade, president, IMA Pune.

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