All cases of TB to be reported

New Delhi: Government has declared tuberculosis (TB) a notifiable disease with immediate effect, making it mandatory on all private doctors, healthcare providers and clinical establishments treating such patients to report each case of the air-borne disease to government. The Government issued this notification on May 7 and sent the same to various states today asking them to record each TB case. Private doctors were till now free to treat TB patients and not maintain their record.

"In order to ensure proper TB diagnosis and case management, reduce TB transmission and fight emergence of drug resistant TB, it is essential to have complete information of all TB cases. Therefore the healthcare providers shall notify every TB case to local authorities – district health officer/chief medical officer of a district and municipal health officer of a municipal corporation, every month," the notification said.

"Clinical establishments run or managed by the government, private or NGO sectors, and individual practitioners" would come under the purview of this notification. An estimated over 2 million people contract TB in the country each year. The notification of TB cases by all healthcare providers will help patients with better access to quality diagnosis and treatment. This would facilitate early diagnosis, rational treatment, prevention of complications, drug resistance and reduce deaths due to TB.

This notification system will also help them offer better linkages for quality diagnostic and treatment services to the TB patients and will facilitate the National TB Control Programme to realistically estimate TB disease burden, plan resources and control measures commensurate with actual burden of disease for larger interest of public and nation.