Treatment of Tuberculosis in India
Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially infectious disease caused by bacteria. TB mostly affects the lungs and spreads from one person to another through tiny droplets which a sick person ejects in the air via coughs and sneezes.
Why TB is dangerous?
- When compared with other diseases which are caused by a single agent, tuberculosis emerges as the second biggest killer all across the globe.
- While TB is a preventable and curable disease, it remains a major roadblock in Indian healthcare.
- A disease like TB poses a great economic risk in India as it affects mainly the working population of a country.
- TB is demographically associated that social strata which have poor socio-economic development, is marginalized and prone to exploitation.
- Hence, the Indian policymakers need to initiate strong and comprehensive actions which are required to tackle the various dimensions of TB. This will require a multi-sectoral approach.
What India is doing?
- The Indian Government has committed to ending the menace of TB by 2025, a full 5 years ahead of the global target.
- For this, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MHFW) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with the Ministry of AYUSH, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Railways which will strengthen the inter-ministerial coordination and efforts for abolishing TB.
- This Inter-ministerial Coordination aims to reach the various segments of the population served by the participating Ministries like the women & children, workers, miners, migrants, and tribal population, etc.
- The Inter-ministerial coordination aims to develop a movement for combined efforts to create a Jan Andolan in every section of the Society with the aim to end TB in India.
- The MoU will help in the establishment of the linkages and integration of TB care services with existing healthcare infrastructure and institutional network support associated with the Ministry of AYUSH. It also increases awareness about RNTCP guidelines.
What is RNTCP?
The Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) is a government-run tuberculosis control initiative established with the vision to achieve a “TB free India”. RNTCP aims to provide Universal Access to TB control services in India.