From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : multi drug resistant TB
Mains level : TB control
- People’s participation in the ‘TB-Mukt India’ campaign can help eliminate the disease by 2025.
What is TB?
- A potentially serious infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs.
How TB is caused?
- Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a type of bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It’s spread when a person with active TB disease in their lungs coughs or sneezes and someone else inhales the expelled droplets, which contain TB bacteria.
What does TB do to humans?
- It mainly affects the lungs, but it can affect any part of the body, including the tummy (abdomen), glands, bones and nervous system.
How long has the TB infected us?
- TB is as old as humanity itself, infecting us for at least 5,000 years. The infecting agent, a bacterium, was identified way back in 1882, by Robert Koch, signalling one of the landmark discoveries which laid the foundation of modern medicine
Is TB painful?
- If TB affects your joints, you may develop pain that feels like arthritis. If TB affects your bladder, it may hurt to go to the bathroom and there may be blood in your urine. TB of the spine can cause back pain and leg paralysis. TB of the brain can cause headaches and nausea.
Can we get TB if vaccinated?
- BCG is a vaccine for TB. This vaccine is not widely used in the United States, but it is often given to infants and small children in other countries where TB is common. The BCG vaccine is not very good at protecting adults against TB. We can still get TB infection or TB disease even if you were vaccinated with BCG.
When do TB symptoms start?
- TB disease usually develops slowly, and it may take several weeks before you notice you’re unwell. Your symptoms might not begin until months or even years after you were initially infected. Sometimes the infection does not cause any symptoms. This is known as latent TB.
Is TB curable permanently?
- TB can usually be completely cured by the person with TB taking a combination of TB drugs. The only time that TB may not be curable is when the person has drug resistant TB.
- Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is a form of antimicrobial resistance that is difficult and costly to treat. It is caused by TB bacteria that are resistant to at least one of the first-line existing TB medications, resulting in fewer treatment options and increasing mortality rates.
Risk factors for TB include
- HIV infection.
- Being in jail or prison (where close contact can spread infection)
- Substance abuse.
- Taking medication that weakens the immune system.
- Kidney disease and diabetes.
TB statistic for mains
We are home to 1 in 4 of the world’s TB patients.
Over 2.5 million Indians are infected.
- Nikshay Poshan Yojana: in which TB patients receive Rs 500 every month while on treatment was launched. Nikshay Poshan Yojana ensure that the patients have economic support and nutrition during the required period.
- TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign: was launched to accelerate the efforts to end TB by 2025. The campaign aims to initiate preventive and promotive health approaches.
- Community-led approach: By applying “multi-sectoral and community-led” approach, the government is building a national movement to end TB by 2025.
- Ni-kshay Mitra: Any individual or organisation can register as Ni-kshay Mitra on the Ni-kshay 2.0 portal to support people affected by the disease. The initiative intends to provide essential nutritional and social support to people with TB and root out stigma and discrimination against them.
Some positive suggestions to eliminate TB
- Sincere efforts need to be made to make our health systems more accessible and reliable.
- It also required to ensure that those seeking care trust the healthcare system and get the appropriate care for completing treatment.
- There is a need to create more labs, point of care tests, an assured drug pipeline, access to new drugs.
- The government should also ensure counselling and support for those affected.
- Every patient who is diagnosed late and does not receive timely treatment continues to infect others.
- To break this cycle, government machinery at the field level should work with communities and provide free diagnosis and treatment to every affected individual.
- We have ignored TB for too long. It’s time we acknowledge the magnitude of the disease, and work harder at offering individuals equitable healthcare access and resources that the disease warrants.
Q. Do you think we can eliminate TB by 2025? Discuss the roadmap and give some affirmative actions to be taken by government.