Last year, the World Health Organisation estimated that there were 28 lakh new cases of tuberculosis in India. To combat the disease, the expansion of TB care services, newer tools and strategies will be key to achieving success of reaching every one. The Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme is making landmark changes in the strategy of diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
“The government is preparing its national strategic plan for ending TB in India by 2025 – five years ahead of the targets set under Sustainable Development Goals. The strategies will be more aggressive and targeted,” said CK Mishra, Secretary in the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
The Government launched a special campaign of active TB case-finding, in January, to identify patients in high risk areas. Further, Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test or CBNAAT machines were installed in 628 laboratories, expanding the rapid molecular diagnostic testing to all districts of the country.
The Revised National TB Control programme aims at changing treatment strategy and has introduced daily regimen in five states. This is expected to reduce drug resistance with greater compliance.
A new drug, Bedaquiline, was introduced to improve outcomes of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis at six identified sites. Single window delivery of HIV-TB services was expanded at all Anti-retroviral Treatment (ART) centres in the country.
However, the challenge remains to substantially improve the notification of TB cases from private healthcare providers. Of the 15 lakh patients taking treatment from private providers, only three lakh were notified by private providers.