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Government Aims to Eliminate Tuberculosis by 2025

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Ministry of health and family welfare, India has issued a press release on February 5th, 2019 stating the achievements in 2018 under the national strategic plan 2017-2025 for eradicating Tuberculosis (TB).

The shortfalls in the state’s targets, reasons, and the future strategies are also shared by the government. This information has been published on the Press Information Bureau, Government of India.

In the year 2017, Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi announced the national strategic plan 2017-2025 for eliminating TB from the country. This target is 5 years ahead of the global target of 2030 as announced by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The government initiated a partnership with the private sector for targetting the major areas of the disease. This partnership was named as Joint Effort for the Elimination of Tuberculosis (JEET). The plan was successfully launched in May 2018.

As per the state’s reports, India has witnessed a 40% growth of TB patients in the private sectors. Under the program, 8% of patients have been given anti-TB drugs. Also, 35% treatment supporters and 8% private practitioners have been benefited by the paid incentives through Direct Benefit transfer until January 25th, 2019.

Dr. Mario Raviglione, Director WHO Global TB Program said, “When I visited the largest slum in Mumbai with over one million (10 lakh) people, I saw a model of care that seems to work whereby private practitioners are empowered to detect and report TB cases through the support of an NGO and patients are mobilized to access TB services through the incentive of vouchers.”

Shri. J. P. Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said, “Ensuring affordable and quality healthcare to the population is a priority for the government and we are committed to achieving zero TB deaths and therefore we need to re-strategize, think afresh and have to be aggressive in our approach to ending TB by 2025.”

Throughout the world, TB is one of the top 10 reasons of death. In the year 2016, India witnessed over 4,23,000 deaths because of TB. Though the mortality rate has dropped by 12%, the number of fresh cases of TB has dropped only by 3% in India.

According to WHO report, 10 million (1 crore) people developed TB disease in 2017 globally and 2.79 million (27.9 lakh) new cases of TB were from India. All the countries witnessed the cases of TB and overall 27% patients in India fall sick due to TB.

TB is caused by the bacteria in human body parts, the bacteria especially affects the lungs. These bacteria can either make you sick or not. In latent TB, the patient does not feel sick and in active TB, patients might get a bad cough that can last for more than two weeks.

The symptoms of TB depends on the infected body part. Some of the symptoms include a bad cough, pain in the chest, weight loss, lack of appetite, weakness, fatigue, fever, chills or night sweats. TB can spread from one person to another through the air.

The government has ensured the early diagnosis of all the TB patients. The TB patient is screened for spotting the drug resistance at an early stage. Growth in the diagnostic capacity for early detection and treatment will lead to decreasing in mortality rate due to this disease.

The government has also initiated many intrusions such as Integrated mechanism for management of Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs). This is the provision for counseling of patients & family during diagnosis and treatment of TB.

To improve patient compliance, many grievance remedial mechanisms have also been started. Also, the Nikshay Poshan Yojana gives 500 INR monthly to all TB patients. This is done to ensure nutritional support during the treatment of TB.

Shri. Ashwini Kumar Choubey, the Minister of State (Health and Family Welfare) stated, “The Government is committed to achieving the target of TB elimination by 2025 and not considering any revision in targets.”

Under the national strategic plan, public-private support agency approach was started in almost 85 districts. Indian Medical Association is involved in the scheme for the large scale awareness of the program.

The states are provided with anti-TB drugs for TB patients. The states are also given guidance to keep the pace of the program at all levels.

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