Union Health Minister Launched First National Anti-TB Drug Resistance Survey of India

Sep 10, 2014 16:39 IST

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on 6 September 2014 launched the first anti-Tuberculosis Drug Resistance Survey of India for the year 2014-15.

This is the first of its kind of survey in India and is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Describing the TB as national emergency, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan called for an email repository of doctors for better disease management.

Main features of the Survey
• It will cover 5214 patients in 120 TB units in 24 states
• It will test all first and most of second line anti-TB drugs
• It will use liquid culture for culture and drug sensitivity tests
• It will adopt genetic sequencing for better understanding of molecular epidemiology of drug resistance
• It will use real time monitoring of survey activities using a web-based ICT system, which has been developed by National Tuberculosis Institute, Bangalore.
• It will provide statistical estimate of the prevalence of anti-tuberculosis drug resistance among the new and already treated patients in the country.
• It will also contribute to a more accurate estimate of anti-tuberculosis drug resistance globally.

About Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB)
Multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is resistant to two or more of the first-line drugs used to treat the disease. If a person with MDR-TB spreads the disease to someone else and that person comes down with active disease, it will be multi-drug-resistant from the beginning.

The number of multi-drug resistant (MDR)-TB cases in the country had increased five-fold between 2011 and 2013. Studies show one-third of the MDR-TB cases are resistant to fluoroquinolones, which are critical for MDR-TB treatment.

MDR-TB if quickly identified can be cured successfully. Unfortunately, tests to determine whether a particular strain is resistant usually take several weeks to complete.

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