Between 2011 and 2016, outbreaks of epidemic-prone diseases India reported and responded to rose by 60%, according to a reply to the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) by minister of state for health and family welfare Anupriya Patel on August 11, 2017.

Source: Lok Sabha reply

An outbreak is defined as a “sudden increase in number of cases with similar signs and symptoms compared to previous weeks, or compared to last three years in the same month” by the ministry’s Integrated Disease Surveillance Project, which tracks disease data.

In 2016, five highest rates of outbreaks per 10 million people were reported in Dadra & Nagar Haveli (496), Punjab (285), Arunachal Pradesh (202.5), Lakshadweep (155) and Mizoram (82.5).

Among states, Punjab reported the highest outbreaks per 10 million people inthe six years. Except for 2013 (89), Punjab’s rate remained above 100 per 10 million people.

Over the last three years, union territories Lakshadweep and Dadra & Nagar Haveli reported the highest number of outbreaks per 10 million people. While Lakshadweep reported the highest rate of 310 outbreaks per 10 million people in 2014, Dadra & Nagar Haveli had the highest rates of 496 in both 2015 and 2016.

Reporting in urban areas remains poor, Patel said in her reply.

Source: Lok Sabha reply NOTE: Telangana data not available

The Integrated Disease Surveillance Project was launched in November 2004 to detect and respond to outbreaks of epidemic-prone diseases at the earliest. Currently, about 90% districts report weekly disease surveillance data.

(Vivek is an analyst with IndiaSpend.)

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