Doctors, chemists, hospital authorities can be jailed- Check why

Leslie Hanson
March 22, 2018

Doctors, Medical Shop Owners and pharmacists could be jailed for up to two years for failing to report cases of tuberculosis, a health ministry notification has said, a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India would eliminate the disease by 2025.

Describing TB as a unsafe epidemic disease, the official notification invokes two sections in the Indian Penal Code for warning the doctors, diagnostic labs and medicine shop owners.

Section 269 states negligent act likely to spread infection of disease risky to life and IPC 270 states malignant act likely to spread infection of disease unsafe to life.

TB was made a notifiable disease in 2012 but inadequate reporting is the biggest problem the government faces in controlling the disease.

A notifiable disease is the one that has to be reported to the authorities so that speedy action can be taken to check its spread. But no penalty clause is attached.

The Union Health Ministry has asked clinical establishments to tuberculosis (TB) cases.

Almost 60% patients go to the private sector for treatment before approaching the public sector, which made tracking of cases hard, the official said. This could be an underestimated number as the analysis did not account for cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis.

But it is the missing 10 lakh that worries the government because it is the unfinished TB treatment that leads to more complicated drug-resistant TB cases.

India reported 4,23,000 TB deaths in 2017 and an average of 211 new infections per 1,00,000 people were diagnosed.

The new notification has two specific formats.

If they encounter a TB patient, they would have to inform the public health authorities such as District Health Officer or Chief Medical Officer of a District and Municipal Health Officer of urban local bodies or the designated District Tuberculosis Officers.

She also said that since 2015, Chevron and its parties in the Agbami field have embarked on awareness campaigns in Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Nasarawa and Oyo States in partnership with local non-government organizations and the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLC) to raise awareness on the dangers of Tuberculosis, provide training and counselling on treatment and management of the infection.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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