In 2018, just 76 patients absconded from the hospital and 341 patients sought discharge against medical advice (DAMA).
Mumbai, the financial capital of India, has witnessed a rise in people suffering from tuberculosis.
Under a Right to Information (RTI) report filed by RTI activist Chetan Kothari, it was revealed that at Sewri’s Tuberculosis (TB) Hospital, three patients were abandoned by their relatives in 2017 as compared to one patient in 2016.
The number of patients who absconded from the hospital have decreased from 163 in 2016 to 115 in 2017.
While the number of patients who were Discharged Against Medical Advise (DAMA) has also decreased from 656 patients in 2016 to 511 patients in 2017.
While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Lalitkumar Anande, Medical Superintendent at Sewri TB Hospital, said, “Relatives of the TB patients don’t take them home, the patient has to stay in the hospital. In case of MDR TB the treatment goes up to two years. In a number of cases, the family do not visit the patient as well. So, the patient either absconds or seeks discharge without medical advice.”
He added, “But, the situation has changed this year. A number of patients who have absconded or sought discharge have gone down. We have started a number of initiatives like library, magic shows; music shows so that the patients will stay comfortably in the hospital. These activities also help to distract their mind from the misery of the illness.”
The number of TB cases grew by 36% in the past three years according to figures from BMC’s public health department. From April 2017 to March 2018, Mumbai has recorded 45,000 TB cases. While the number of MDR-TB patients is 4,891.