Integrate TB services with primary health system: Lancet

  1. According to the report in British medical journal Lancet,tuberculosis-free world is possible only by 2045 and not 2030,the target year set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end the epidemic. Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria.
  2. The report also says that India’s goal to end the epidemic by 2025 under National Strategic plan was too ambitious and therefore,unattainable. According to the World Health Organization’s “Global Tuberculosis Report 2018″,India accounted for 27% of the 10 million people,who had developed TB in 2017.TB was responsible for 1.6 million deaths worldwide in 2017.
  3. The report adds that India has set a goal of eliminating TB by 2025,but integration of TB services with the primary health system to reduce diagnostic delays is not happening.The patients are not diagnosed and treated at the primary level,which is the first point of contact.Only this will lead to early diagnosis and help cut the transmission cycle
  4. However,the report suggests that India could avert more than a quarter of TB deaths in the next 30 years by (a)subsidizing tests and supporting patients to complete treatment (b)engaging private sector healthcare providers (c)increased political will (d)financial resources (e)universal access to drug susceptibility testing and second line TB drugs (f) increasing research to develop new ways to diagnose,treat and prevent TB and (g)diagnosis and treatment for drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB need improvement.
  5. National Strategic Plan (NSP),2017-2025 is a framework to provide guidance for the activities of various stakeholders to reduce the burden of TB mortality and morbidity.It aims to work towards the elimination of TB in India by 2025.