Bhubaneswar: While detection and notification of tuberculosis (TB) patients in India was already a difficult task, the surge of the Covid-19 pandemic over the last two years had further toughened the battle, eminent expert on pulmonary diseases Dr. Digambar Behera has said.


Thirty per cent of world’s tuberculosis patients were found in India which also accounted for 27 per cent of the drug resistant tuberculosis cases, Dr. Behera said while speaking at an event organised to mark the World Tuberculosis Day at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital here on Thursday.

“The challenge before us is how to detect all TB cases in a scenario where 20 per cent of such cases go undetected,” Dr. Behera, who was honoured with the Padma Shri award in 2020 for his contribution to the field of medicine, said.

“The Covid surge had further accentuated the problem as it diverted our attention. Besides, manpower and diagnostic facilities were also diverted for the Covid battle,” he said.

Dr. Behera said new drugs were available to treat tuberculosis and all efforts should be made to detect such cases and provide the required treatment so that TB could be eliminated.

Prof. (Dr.) Ashok Kumar Mahapatra, eminent neurosurgeon and Vice-Chancellor of SOA, Prof. (Dr.) Gangadhar Sahoo, Pro Vice-Chancellor of SOA and Dean of IMS and SUM Hospital, Prof. (Dr.) Pusparaj Samantasinhar, Medical Superintendent, Dr. Ajay Kumar Jena, Additional Dean and Prof. (Dr.) Banani Jena, Head of Pulmonary Medicine also spoke.

Among others, Dr. Rakhi Ludum, Dr. Priyadarshini Behera, Dr. Sangeeta Jena, Dr. Sonali Parida, Dr. Priyatam Chhotray, Dr. Khirod Sahu, Dr. Subhakanta Nanda and Dr. Kalolini Sen were present.