According to an assessment of nationwide sales of anti-tuberculosis drugs across the private sector, nearly 2.2 million TB cases were reported in 2014. This is two or three times higher than the current estimates.
Nearly 2.2 million TB cases reported in 2014, says reports
The findings were revealed during a study by scientists and researchers at the Imperial College of London. It will be published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal on Thursday. Commenting on the findings, the health experts revealed to us that the latest findings could facilitate a database update of TB cases both in the country and worldwide.
The scientists have issued a stern warning that under-reporting of cases could fuel drug resistance. It will have long-term implications for patients across the globe. Nearly, 6.3 million cases of TB were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014. Out of this total figure, as many as quarter cases were reported from India alone.
1.42 million patients treated in the public sector
According to the latest research report, the actual number of TB cases in India is under-reported. In 2014, an approximate number of 1.42 million patients were treated in the public sector. Many people preferably depend on the private hospital for the treatment of TB. The private hospitals often fail to report TB cases to health department regularly. This is the main reason for the difficulty to accurately estimate the exact number of TB cases in India.
Commenting on the latest findings, Dr. Nimalan Arinaminpathy, lead author of the research and senior lecturer, mathematical epidemiology, department of infectious disease epidemiology, School of Public Health at Imperial disclosed that TB is one of the major infectious diseases in the world.
Lack of reporting system in place
The disease even kills several people if not treated properly. In India, TB is infected highly and many people are unaware of it. This is because of the lack of accurate reporting system in place. Private hospitals will not take courage to report TB cases to the health department.
To arrive at the actual figure, Dr. Arinaminpathy and her team reached out to a number of institutions in India and calculated nationwide sales of tuberculosis drugs across the private sector. The team then used this particular figure to calculate the number of cases.