Eliminating TB in India by 2025

Eliminating TB in India by 2025

News: According to WHO’s Global TB report 2021, with 25.9 lakh TB cases, India is home to 25% of the global tuberculosis cases.

 Recently, World TB Day was celebrated on 24th March.

What is TB?
 Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It most commonly affects the lungs but can also damage other parts of the body.
 Types of TB related conditions – I) Active TB II) Latent TB III) Multi-Drug Resistant TB III) Extensive Drug Resistant TB (More serious condition than MDR TB where it is resistant to both first and second line TB drugs)

What are causes of high occurrence behind TB in India?
 A majority of TB patients in India get affected due to undernourishment. Poverty impacts their accessibility to food and ability to get treated which makes them more susceptible to occurrence and continuance of TB.
 Bad habits such as smoking tobacco which is a strong risk factor for both developing TB and dying from it.
 One of the major factors of TB prevalence in India is under-reporting of TB cases. This leaves the risk of spreading TB to other healthy individuals.
 Due to fear of stigmatization and social discrimination patients hesitate to seek treatment and in some cases completely deny their condition. 

Need for eliminating TB

Disproportia nately affects poor people

Major cause of illness and death in India

Economic cost to country in terms of loss of income, loss of productivity

Eliminating TB is important target under SDG

Eliminating TB will promote social justice in true sense

Eliminating TB will contribute to Global health efforts

What steps has Government taken to combat TB?
 The government has increased healthcare facilities, TB diagnosis instruments and has increased access to more molecular diagnostic tests like CB-NAAT and TureNAT.
 Injectable kanamycin, which caused kidney failure and deafness, has been replaced by Bedaquiline and Delamanid. These new pharmaceuticals have also been included in the new National List of Essential Medicines, giving the government the authority to control their market pricing.
 The government has targeted high-risk populations, such as people living with HIV/AIDS, migrants, and those living in poverty, to improve TB diagnosis and treatment. An online Ni-kshay portal has been set up to track the notified TB cases.
 National Strategic Plan for TB elimination (2017-25): It plans to provide incentives to private providers for following the standard protocols for diagnosis and treatment as well as for notifying the government of cases. Further, patients referred to the government will receive a cash transfer to compensate them for the direct and indirect costs of undergoing treatment and as an incentive to complete treatment.
 TB Haarega Desh Jeetega Campaign
 Nikshay Poshan Yojana – Nutritional support to TB patients.
 Currently, two vaccines VPM (Vakzine Projekt Management) 1002 and MIP (Mycobacterium Indicus Pranii) have been developed and identified for TB, and are under Phase-3 clinical trial.

Way Forward
 To combat TB by 2025 we must have a comprehensive and targeted approach towards eliminating TB. Expanding access to healthcare and increased funding to prevent TB should be priority of the government.
 In addition, efforts must be made to increase public awareness about minimizing stigma associated with TB. Also, living conditions of vulnerable communities must be improved. 

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