TB IN INDIA (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Health)

News-CRUX-10     6th June 2024        

Context: Recently, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) officials have announced plans to revamp the protocol, particularly focusing on TB medication and its duration, aiming to relaunch the TB-free initiative, striving for zero deaths, disease, and poverty associated with tuberculosis.

TB in India

  • About: It is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs.
  • Transmission: TB bacteria spread through the air from one person to another. When a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, or sings, TB bacteria can get into the air. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
  • Symptoms: Bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer, Pain in the chest, Coughing up blood or sputum, Weakness, Fatigue, Weight loss
  • Fever and Night sweats.
  • Treatment: The standardized treatment regimen for MDR TB in India is a 6-drug regimen, with an intensive phase of 6–9 months and a continuation phase of 18 months; the total duration of treatment is about 24–27 months. 

o The six drugs are kanamycin, levofloxacin, cycloserine, ethionamide, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol also used to treat TB.

Indian government initiative:

  • Nikshay Poshan Yojana (Nutritional Support to TB Patients): Financial incentive of ₹500/- per month for each notified TB patient for the duration for which the patient is on anti-TB treatment. 

o In-kind where the total value of the food basket being distributed must not be less than ₹500 per month.

  • The Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan

o Provide additional patient support to improve treatment outcomes of TB patients

o Augment community involvement in meeting India’s commitment to end TB by 2025

o Leverage Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities

  • Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme: The goal of TB control Programme is to decrease mortality and morbidity due to TB and cut transmission of infection until TB ceases to be a major public health problem in India.
  • National Framework for a Gender-Responsive approach to TB in India: Outline the influences and impact of gender on the TB burden and response, based on available literature and data.
  • The National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB Elimination 2017–25: It is a bold strategic framework to drive the acceleration of progress toward TB Elimination, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the End TB targets for India.

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