The Government of India has launched a door-to-door campaign for 15-days in the country for early diagnosis, detection and treatment of tuberculosis to eliminate the disease.The health ministry has initiated this campaign along the lines of its anti-polio drive, which fetched very good result for India and successfully eliminated this disease from the country.
Through this door-to-door campaign, health department workers, ASHAs (Accredited Social Health Activists) and TB supervisors will make door-to-door visits to find TB patients and give them free medical treatment till they are cured.
Objectives of this campaign
As per the WHO (World Health Organisation), approximately 2.8 million cases of tuberculosis (TB) occur in India every year, out of which only 1.7 million cases are reported. Therefore, around one million cases of TB get missed every year. The aim is to detect these missed out cases by going to every household.
The government aims to decrease incidences of tuberculosis by 90% by 2025 and reduce mortality due to the disease by 95% by 2030 under the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).
India tops list of new tuberculosis cases in 2016: WHO
Government’s initiation on TB
Under the 3rd phase of the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP), the center has identified 186 high-risk districts with the help of states.
The phase is called Active Case Finding (ACF).
The programme was launched in January last year and the second phase of the exercise was carried out in July. In both the campaigns together, 15,000 cases of TB were detected and the patients were put on treatment.
In a bid to attain the goal of eliminating TB by 2025, the government rolled out the daily drug course of therapy recently to combat the disease across the country.
A daily treatment course of therapy is likely to be more effective with lesser relapses and it is expected to reduce drug-resistance with greater compliance.
Under the new treatment policy, patients diagnosed with TB are being given fixed drug combinations (FDCs), three or four drugs in a single pill, on everyday basis instead of thrice a week (the intermittent drug regimen). It will reduce the pill burden.
Also, children suffering from TB won't have to take the bitter tablets any longer as they will be substituted with easily-dissolvable and flavored drugs.
Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP)
The large-scale execution of the Indian government’s Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) (also known as RNTCP 1) was started in 1997.
The RNTCP was then stretched across India until the entire nation was covered by the RNTCP in March 2006.
At this time the RNTCP also became known as RNTCP II. RNTCP II was designed to consolidate the gains achieved in RNTCP I, and to initiate services to address TB/HIV, MDR-TB and to extend RNTCP to the private sector.
An RNTCP use the World Health Organisation suggested DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short Course) strategy and reaches over a billion people in 632 districts. The RNTCP is accountable for carrying out the Government’s 5-year TB National Strategic Plans.
Since 1997, under the RNTCP, patients were being administered drugs thrice a week (the intermittent drug regimen). The World Health Organisation revised its TB management guidelines in 2010, recommending that the daily drug regimen be adopted under the RNTCP.
TB in India
According to the Government’s data, the TB incidence was estimated to be 217 per lakh population in 2015 which reduced to 211 per lakh population in 2016.
According to a new global report, despite all the reduction, India topped the list of seven countries, accounting for 64% of the 10.4 million new TB cases worldwide in 2016.
Also, India along with Russia and China accounted for almost about half of the 490,000, multidrug-resistant TB (MDR- TB) cases registered in 2016.
According to the report, under diagnosis and under-reporting of the tuberculosis cases continue to be a challenge, especially in countries with large unregulated private sectors and weak health systems.
Who: Health Ministry