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India’s TB burden- statistics

  1. According to the WHO, India shoulders 71,000 multi-drug resistant tuberculosis patients
  2. Nearly 10 per cent of all MDR-TB patients have extensive or XDR-TB
  3. XDR-TB: Resistant to any fluoroquinolone, and at least one of three second-line injectable drugs (capreomycin, kanamycin and amikacin), in addition to multidrug resistance
  4. India has about 2,300 XDR-TB patients & only 36 are currently on the Govt’s access programme

Let’s know more about Bedaquiline

  1. Considered to be the most effective treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis
  2. Used exclusively to treat patients who have failed to respond to second-line anti-TB medicines
  3. India had received a donation of 300 doses from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with another batch of 300 doses to be donated next year
  4. The drug was to be introduced in six hospitals in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Guwahati and later be introduced in 104 districts in five States

‘Miracle’ TB drug hit by low enrolment

  1. Six months after the launch of ‘miracle’ drug bedaquiline, the Govt has enrolled a mere 36 patients
  2. Other countries like South Africa, Swaziland or even Belarus have put nearly 5% of their MDR TB patients on bedaquiline within a year

India sets an example in subsidised TB diagnosis

A study, published recently in the journal Lancet Global Health, has indicated that India is the best country in the world to offer subsidized TB diagnosis.

  1. Of the 12 high-burden countries where the private sector is a major player in providing health care.
  2. The Indian private sector offers the cheapest price for the WHO-approved Xpert MTB/RIF, a molecular test for diagnosing TB.
  3. Access to accurate tests at subsidised price is very important in India as nearly 80% of the population in India first seek the private sector.
  4. If one out of every four TB patients in the world is an Indian, one in eight TB patients in the world is a privately treated Indian patient.
  5. Hence, to further reduce the costs, the study asks the Indian government to waive off customs duty of 31% levied on Xpert machine and reagents.

Child-friendly TB drugs launched

  1. Child-friendly TB drugs for first-line medication in a fixed-dose combination were launched for the first time.
  2. The availability of child-friendly TB drugs of correct dosages will increase drug adherence and thereby reduce acquired drug resistance.
  3. Earlier,  the adult drugs had to be crushed  to achieve an appropriate dose for a child making it all the more difficult to administer to young children.
  4. Since the fixed-dose combinations come in a dissolvable form, tablets no longer need to be crushed.

Chennai’s new strategy to eliminate TB

To help communities move to zero deaths from tuberculosis in their own way, and create “islands of elimination”, which will reverse the overall tuberculosis epidemic.

  1. With this project, Chennai may drastically reduce TB mortality, shrink the number of new cases annually and impact TB prevalence in the city in a matter of 3-5 years.
  2. The Zero TB Cities project earnestly embraced the Zero TB Declaration in 2012, that calls for a “new global attitude” in the fight against TB.
  3. The project envisages a comprehensive tuberculosis elimination strategy at the community level by using all the currently available arsenals.
  4. The “island of elimination” strategy does not call for any breakthroughs but requires a change of mindset.

Chennai has been chosen as one of two cities in the world where the Zero TB Cities project will try to create an “island of elimination”. Lima in Peru is the other city.

TB ranks alongside HIV as leading killer worldwide: WHO report

Ending the TB epidemic is part of the Sustainable Development Goal agenda.

  1. In 2014, tuberculosis (TB) killed 1.5 million people, 400,000 of whom were HIV-positive.
  2. Fight against TB is paying off, however, with this year’s death rate nearly half of what it was in 1990.
  3. WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2015, most of the improvement came since 2000, the year the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) established.
  4. Need to close detection and treatment gaps, fill funding shortfalls, and develop new diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.

Fund crunch hampers TB fight

  1. Government has failed to meet annual targets to control spread of the nation’s most fatal infectious illness.
  2. India records more than 300,000 TB related deaths and 2.2 million new cases of TB each year.
  3. The draft report is not in the public domain but was leaked on the Internet by health activists

Hi-tech facility that detects TB in two hours

  1. Mysuru to get a state-of-the-art facility under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP).
  2. The cartridge-based Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (CBNAAT) equipment.
  3. Support from the World Health Organisation (WHO), National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) & USAID.
  4. Once TB is detected, the patient is supposed to take meds under the Directly Observed Treatment (DOT), recommended by WHO.

Not everyone with TB infection may suffer from the disease: IMA

  1. As such human immune system can stop the contagious TB bacteria from multiplying.
  2. Such people are called “TB infected” but, they don’t feel sick or show symptoms or spread TB.
  3. But if person suffering HIV, diabetes mellitus, malnutrition, then it can’t fight against TB infection.
  4. Such people are called “TB diseased patients”, each of them capable of infecting 10 more.

IMA says – Patients with TB should be tested for HIV

  1. If a person has HIV and TB co-infection it means that they have both HIV infection and either latent TB or active TB disease.
  2. HIV infection and infection with TB bacteria are though completely different infections.
  3. But people living with HIV are at greater risk of developing TB owing to the weakened immunity.
  4. Progression to TB disease is often rapid among people infected with HIV and can be deadly.

Indian Medical Association on TB & Swine Flu

  1. Swine flu is a droplet infection, while TB is droplet nuclei infection. What’s that?
  2. Droplet infection = Infected particles of size > 5 microns & Droplet nuclei infection = < 5 microns.
  3. This essentially makes TB more easily transmittable – hospital can be a place where TB is transmitted to other patients and healthcare staff.
  4. While prevention of flu requires simple three layered mask, the one for TB prevention requires N95 mask.

    Discuss: An estimate – In India, 2.1 MM new TB cases occur annually and 2,40,000 TB deaths occur every year. The article speaks about an ethical liability with the patient to disclose his/ her illness



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