Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched new initiatives to combat Tuberculosis

Mar 23, 2016 08:00 IST

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda on 21 March 2016 launched three new initiatives to combat Tuberculosis (TB).

The initiatives were launched to mark the World Tuberculosis day that is observed annually on 24 March.

Details related to the new initiatives

Bedaquiline Drug

• The new anti-TB drug was launched to combat Drug Resistant TB as part of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP).

• It is a new class of drug is a diarylquinoline that specifically targets Mycobacterial ATP synthase, an enzyme essential for supply of energy to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and most other mycobacteria.

• It will available at six identified tertiary care centres across the country. These sites have advanced facilities for laboratory testing and intensive care for patients.

• It will be given to multi-drug resistant TB patients with resistance to either all fluoroquinolone and/or all second line injectables and extensive drug resistant TB.

500 Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CBNAAT) machines

• These are in addition to the existing 121 CBNAAT machines that are functional in the country.

• The CBNAAT is a revolutionary rapid molecular test which detects Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampicin drug resistance, simultaneously.

• This test is fully automated and provides results within two hours.

• It is a highly sensitive diagnostic tool and can be used in remote and rural areas without sophisticated infrastructure or specialized training.

• This highly sensitive state-of-art technology will be used for diagnosis of TB among key populations like children, PLHIV and extra pulmonary TB patients.

Third line ART programme for People Living with HIV

• The life-saving third line antiretroviral therapy (ART) will cost nearly 1.18 lakh rupees per patient per year.

• Providing these free would not only safe lives but improve socioeconomic conditions of the patients. This initiative brings India’s ART programme at par with programmes in the developed countries.

Along with these initiatives the Minister also released the TB India 2016 Annual Report and the Technical and Operational Guidelines for TB Control in India 2016.

These comprehensive set of guidelines are for management of all forms of TB, including drug resistant TB, strategies for intensified case finding and single-window care for patients suffering from HIV and TB.

And, a new radio campaign with TB ambassador Amitabh Bachchan and social media campaign were also launched on this occasion.

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