India has to adopt measures to prevent TB on a population level to eliminate the disease in the coming decades.
- Of the 10 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases reported globally in 2017 by the World Health Organisation, 2.74 million were from India, showing a marginal reduction from 2.79 million in 2016.
- Despite TB incidence in the country being 204 cases per 1,00,000 in 2017, the government has set a highly ambitious target of “eliminating TB by 2025”, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target.
- Compared with 2015 data, 57% reduction in incidence and 72% reduction in mortality will been seen only by 2035.
- Strengthening the care cascade could reduce cumulative TB incidence by 38% in the case of India.
- Modelling suggests that lives of eight million (28%) people with TB can be saved over the next 30 years if tests are subsidised and patients are supported to complete the treatment.
- This would cost an extra $290 million each year, which is significantly less than India’s $32 billion losses associated with TB mortality each year.
- India should scale up access to TB services for all those seeking them, optimise engagement of private sector providers and guarantee universal access to drug susceptibility testing and second line TB drugs.
About Tuberculosis (TB):
- Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.
- TB is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and the leading cause from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS.
- Broader influences on the TB epidemic include levels of poverty, HIV infection, under nutrition and smoking.
- Diagnostic tests for TB disease include – Rapid molecular test, Sputum smear microscopy, Culture-based methods.