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Delhi leading fight against TB: Health Minister

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 23 (UNI) Delhi Health Minister Yoganand Shastri today said the death rate among treated Tuberculosis patients in the national capital had decreased from 25 per cent to just 2.3 per cent.

''Around 9,015 deaths (annually) have been averted due to successful implementation of DOTS programme for the last eight years in the capital,'' Dr Shastri told a news conference here on the eve of World TB day.

Dr Shastri said the Central government and WHO have rated the performance of Delhi as the best among all States and UTs having population of more than 12 lakh.

''Delhi was the first state to implement the strategy on cent per cent basis for its entire population (in 1999). Under the strategy, Diagnostic and Treatment Centers have been established in every one lakh of population, the patients are provided free diagnosis and treatment,'' he pointed out He said the treatment success rate of new infectious TB patients had also increased from 25 per cent (1997) to 87 per cent (2005).

''The treatment success rate of all types of TB patients has increased from 30 per cent (1996) to 90 per cent (2005) and the number of non-compliant patients (threatened to become incurable) has reduced from 45 per cent to just five per cent in Delhi,'' he added.

In the capital more than 2.45 lakh patients have been put on treatment saving more than 46 thousand lives whereas Delhi has achieved a high case detection of 85 per cent with a success rate of 87 per cent consistently.

Dr Shastri said every year 1.8 million new cases occur in the country of which 0.8 million are infectious.

In Delhi, which has a population of 160 lakh, 33,600 new cases occur every year out of which 15,200 are infectious, he said.

''There are 210 new cases every year in one lakh population.

As per an estimate there are around 33,600 old TB patients in Delhi taking the total number of TB patients at the rate of 420 patients per lakh of population with 67,200 patients,'' he added.

Dr Shastri said TB is the most common ''opportunistic diseases'' that affects people infected with HIV as India, (with an estimated 5.1 million HIV infected people), has the second highest HIV- infected population in the world.

''In Delhi less than 1 per cent of population has HIV therefore it is estimated that around 40,000 - 64,000 people should be Co-infected with TB and HIV,'' he added.

The government has increased the DOT Centers from 108 (1999) to 432 (2005) with 50 fold increase in NGO participation from 3 Centers (1999) to 144 Centers (2005) in the capital.

Around 40 per cent Indians are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis whereas the percentage of people suffering from Mycobacterium tuberculosis is higher in Delhi due to overcrowding and slums.

UNI NR VD VC1757

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