National Anti-TB Drug Resistance Survey

In March, 2018, the Union Health Ministry has released the National Anti-TB Drug Resistance Survey report. The findings of the report include:

  • India which is home to 2.8 million TB patients, the largest in the world of which over a quarter of patients in India could be resistant to one or more drugs that can cure them.
  • India is home to 2,666 cases of extensively drug resistant (XDR) TB, which is being infected by the deadliest strain of the airborne disease and resistant to all known medicines. Among the 4,958 patients on whom drug susceptibility testing (DST) was conducted 28% had resistance to one or the other anti-TB drug, while 6.19% had multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB.
  • Maharashtra has the highest number of XDR TB patients.
  • Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of cases of drug-resistant TB (9,138); 619 of these are XDR.

The new data also confirm what experts have long suspected: India’s crowded mega-cities provide a perfect breeding ground for the airborne infection to spread.

The survey cannot said to be a complete since it lacks private sector data. TB incidence is declining by 1.2% per year and to achieve the TB elimination goal by 2025, India needs to decline TB incidence by 15-20% annually. The Incidences of MDR-TB has become a damper for the attainment of goal of TB elimination by 2025. [The Hindu]

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