Fight against TB goes beyond treatment of the disease

In 2015, close to five lakh people died of TB in India and every year, an estimated 1.3 lakh people are affected by drug-resistant TB (TB India Report 2017). World Health Organization reported previous year, that there were 1.7 million deaths in 2016 due to Tuberculosis and over 10.4 million people fell ill with TB, which makes TB the top infectious killer worldwide.

"This disease is deeply rooted in populations where human rights and dignity are limited".

People infected with TB bacteria have a 5-15% lifetime risk of falling ill with TB.

Arora said the goal is to get countries around the world to adopt the ECHO model, touching the lives of 1 billion people by 2025.

He, however, said that in response to the country's huge burden of TB, the Federal Ministry of Health has developed a robust National Strategic plan (NSP) for TB which is expected to bring down the menace of missing cases by 2020.

The treatment of TB is a long-drawn process.

Using the TeleECHO network, health care providers around the state are identifying these people through skin or blood tests before they become infectious and are able to transmit to other people, she said.

53 million lives were saved between the year 2000 and 2016, due to diagnoses and treatment. Among MDR-TB patients, additional resistance to any fluoroquinolones was 21.82% and 3.58% to any second-line injectable drugs.

Though, it is only over the past year which is being performed on the first day for all patients if the patients come in contact with the infection. "We have also chose to provide Rs 500 per month to each TB patient for the duration of his treatment", the minister said.

MO DR-TB site, Dr K Basar informed that the government also provides incentive to patients who successfully complete six months' course and also to DOTS provider, which is directly credited through DBT in their accounts. He also appealed to the people to cooperate with the health department to eradicate TB as per the target set by the government to make India TB-free by 2025.

Director-General of the WHO Tedros Ghebreyesus said the "devastating" social and economic impacts of TB has caused many drugs to lose their efficacy in combatting the disease. Majority of the patients find it convenient to visit private hospitals and clinics because of reasons like familiarity with the doctors, trust in the facility and less or no formalities in such facilities. This model was further supported by a special information system to track expenditures for all patients at TB hospitals in a timely, secure, and reliable manner.

We saw the beginnings of this global movement at the historic meeting in Moscow last November, when Russian President Vladimir Putin in his keynote speech expressed his personal commitment to ending TB in Russia.

Thus, the fight against TB goes beyond TB treatment and encompasses overall development of communities. Post graduate from National Institute of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, New Delhi.

  • Santos West