April 20, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

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PROGRESS IN TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL IN INDIA: ACHIEVEMENTS AND STRATEGIES

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TAG: GS 2: SOCIAL JUSTICE AND GOVERNANCE

THE CONTEXT: The India TB Report 2024, released by the Union Health Ministry on March 27, highlights significant progress in tuberculosis (TB) control efforts in the country since 2015.

EXPLANATION:

  • The report emphasizes reductions in TB incidence and mortality rates, along with increased notification rates and improvements in healthcare sector engagement.

Reduction in TB Incidence and Mortality Rates

  • According to the report, India has achieved a commendable 16% decline in TB incidence and an 18% reduction in mortality due to TB since 2015.
  • This progress is reflected in the decline of incidence rates from 237 per lakh population in 2015 to 199 per lakh population in 2022, and mortality rates from 28 per lakh population in 2015 to 23 per lakh population in 2022.

Healthcare Sector Engagement

  • A noteworthy development highlighted in the report is the increased involvement of the private healthcare sector in TB case notifications.
  • In 2023, nearly 32% of TB cases were notified by the private sector, marking a 17% increase from the previous year.
  • This indicates improved collaboration between public and private healthcare providers in TB detection and reporting.

Regional Disparities in Notification Rates

  • While overall TB case notifications have improved by over 50% in the last nine years, the report identifies regional variations in notification rates.
  • Uttar Pradesh recorded the highest increase in notifications, with a 21% rise compared to the previous year, followed by Bihar with a 15% increase.
  • These disparities underscore the importance of targeted interventions and resources allocation in high-burden areas.

Strategies and Initiatives

  • The report outlines several key strategies and initiatives undertaken by the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) to accelerate TB elimination:
    • National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2017–25:
      • The NTEP is guided by the NSP 2017–25, which provides a framework for comprehensive TB control efforts.
    • Diagnostic Services:
      • The NTEP continues to provide free diagnostic services, conducting approximately 1.89 crore sputum smear tests and 68.3 lakh nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) in 2023.
      • These efforts enhance early detection and prompt treatment initiation.
    • Financial Support:
      • The Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) under the Nikshay Poshan Yojana provides financial assistance to TB patients.
      • Approximately ₹2,781 crore was disbursed to approximately one crore beneficiaries, ensuring access to essential resources for TB care.
    • Community Engagement:
      • More than 1.5 lakh Nikshay Mitras have committed to supporting persons affected by TB, emphasizing the importance of community engagement in TB control efforts.

Tuberculosis (TB):

  • TB is caused by a bacterium (mycobacterium tuberculosis) that mostly affect the lungs.
  • It can spread when people with TB expel bacteria into the air, for example, by coughing.
  • According to the Report, most people who develop the disease are adults. In 2021, men accounted for 56.5% of the TB burden, adult women (32.5%) and children (11%).
  • TB is preventable and curable and around 85% of people who develop the disease can be successfully treated with a 4 to 6 months drug treatment.

Several Initiatives by the government for TB eradication:

  • ‘Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’ to eliminate TB by 2025.
  • National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Elimination 2017-2025.
  • National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP)- Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
  • TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign.
  • Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine included in the Indradhanush program.
  • National TB Elimination Programme to meet the goal of ending the TB epidemic by 2025 the country, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for 2030
  • Two vaccines VPM (Vaccine Projekt Management) 1002 and MIP (Mycobacterium Indicus Pranii) have been developed and are under Phase-3 clinical trial.
  • Ni-kshayPoshan Yojana: It provides Rs 500 support through direct benefit transfer to the patients.
  • The government has also focused on utilizing technology and creating digital health IDs for TB patients under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission to ensure proper diagnostics and treatment are available.

SOURCE: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/india-achieves-16-decline-in-new-tb-cases-18-reduction-in-mortality-since-2015-report/article67999625.ece

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