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2017 saw 111 tuberculosis deaths in Chandigarh’s PGI, highest in five years

In India, every three minutes, two people die of Tuberculosis, says D Behera, head, pulmonary medicine, PGI.

punjab Updated: Feb 08, 2018 17:45 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Tanbir Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
tuberculosis deaths,TB deaths,PGI
There are two categories of patients — indoor patients who are extremely critical hence admitted and outdoor patients who come to the DOT centre of the institute, get diagnosed and treated.  (Getty images)

A total of 111 tuberculosis (TB) patients died at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in 2017, mentions the data provided by the institute. The number is the highest in the last five years and is more than double than the deaths reported in 2016, which was 48.

In 2013 and 2014, 60 people died of Tuberculosis in PGIMER, the number reduced to 53 in 2015 and 48 in 2016. However, in 2017, the number breached three figures.These patients are from Chandigarh,as well as other states.

The data also shows the number of indoor patients have increased in the last five years. From 460 patients in 2013, it increased to 518 in 2014. The number reduced in the next two years. It was 428 in 2015 and 420 in 2016. Last year, 584 there were indoor patients.

Talking about the reason behind the increase in the number of deaths last year, Dr D Behera, head, pulmonary medicine, PGIMER, said, “PGIMER is a tertiary care institute, where critical patients from across the states are referred for treatment. Most of the TB patients are severely sick by the time they reach the institute giving less scope to save them.”

He said the situation is very grim in the country where in every three minutes two people die of Tuberculosis.

There are two categories of patients — indoor patients who are extremely critical hence admitted and outdoor patients who come to the DOT centre of the institute, get diagnosed and treated.

The DOT centre of PGIMER covers population of Sector 12, 14, 25, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Ali Sher, Sarangpur. Here, 1,417 patients were diagnosed with TB in 2017, out of which 1,199 were from other states and were referred back. A total of 218 were diagnosed from Chandigarh.

Dr D Behera said, “Out of the new cases, usually 3% cases are of Multi Drug Resistance Tuberculosis (MDRTB) and 15% are those who need retreatment.”

Apart from the PGIMER, there are 17 health centres, where TB is diagnosed and medicines are provided. There are over 100 places from where people can get free medication.

Talking about the disease, Dr Rajiv Khaneja, state TB officer said, “In India, about 40% people have been infected with tuberculosis bacterium but all of them will not have the disease. A person can have infection in case he or she is living in crowded area, works or lives in a place with poor ventilation. Smokers, people who are on immunosuppressant drugs or steroids, have AIDS, elderly people, are more likely to get TB.”

A person has to take 2-5 tablets (depending on the weight) daily for six months. In case, it is multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDRTB), then the treatment goes for 2 years. “The chances of survival are over 90% in TB patients, but in MDRTB the chances of survival reduces to 50%,” he said.

He added, “Some people have primary resistance to drugs but others get MDRTB because they do not take their medication properly.”

Dr Khaneja said the common symptoms of pulmonary TB are cough for over two weeks, blood in sputum, fatigue, fever, weight loss. Extrapulmonary TB is non-infectious, mostly asymptomatic, hence chances of late diagnosis on more.

First Published: Feb 08, 2018 14:34 IST