Officials attribute numbers to presence of densely populated slum pockets across the city
The number of TB-related deaths in 2022 were lower than the previous year’s figure
Mumbai, renowned as the country’s financial capital, also has the dubious distinction of being the major contributor to overall tuberculosis (TB) cases. Though these cases are reported from all 24 administrative wards across the city, areas such as Ghatkopar, Dadar, Malad and Govandi are hotspots.
The government of India has set the goal of eradicating TB by 2025. and the BMC health department is continuously emphasising screening. But according to RTI information, even in the wake of several interventions, more and more cases are being reported from Ghatkopar (N ward), Malad (P North), Dadar (G North) and Govandi (M East) every year.
In the past six years, there has been a 147 per cent increase in the number of TB patients in N ward. In 2017, there were 1,406 new TB cases, and the figure went up to 3,416 in 2022. G North ward has witnessed a 127 per cent rise, from 1,823 new cases in 2017 to 4,147 in 2022. P North ward reported a 83 per cent rise, from 2,210 to 4,055 in the same period while the respective figures for M East ward were 2,253 and 3,115—a 38 per cent rise.
A senior civic health official said, “Four wards have slums that are densely populated and lack ventilation due to which bacterial infection is affecting the people. The BMC is extensively focusing on screening. The numbers might go up, but I think we have reached the plateau.”
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Dr Vidya Thakur, superintendent of civic-run Rajawadi hospital and chief medical officer of BMC peripheral hospitals, said, “A huge number of patients in the OPD is suffering from TB. Overpopulation could be the reason. People also don’t take precautions and maintain hygiene due to which the disease is spreading.” Despite reaching out to the deputy executive health officer and Mumbai TB control district head, there was no reply at the time of going to press.
Overall deaths down
The number of TB related-deaths in 2022 were lower than the previous year’s figure; however F South ward (Parel) tops the list when it comes to fatalities. According to the officials, this is because there are tertiary care hospitals in the area so all TB-related deaths are reported in this ward. In 2022, 386 patients died due to TB in F South while G North, E, P North, K East (Andheri), K West and M East reported 247, 142, 139, 121, 112 and 108 deaths respectively.