New Delhi: As India gears up for eliminating tuberculosis (TB) by 2025, there has been 35% rise in the drug resistant TB case notifications in 2016, government data shows.
“India has made case notification mandatory. More than 500 CBNAAT machines have been rolled out in one year, offering rapid quality diagnostics, linking at least one such machine for each district. These steps have led to 35% rise in the drug resistant TB case notification in 2016,” said Union health minister JP Nadda.
Nadda was addressing the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Health Ministers’ meeting on TB in Delhi on Wednesday.
He reaffirmed India’s commitment in the global collective efforts towards combating TB and assured that India will be remembered for suggesting new breakthroughs aimed at ending TB in the eleven countries of WHO South-East Asia Region (SEAR) through renewed political and financial commitment and enhanced regional cooperation.
“My government has committed itself to the high-impact actions required for eliminating TB by 2025 and will be reinforcing the implementation of our national efforts so that we succeed.”
New anti-TB drug, Bedaquiline, has been introduced under Conditional Access Programme (CAP) to improve outcomes of drug resistant TB treatment.
WHO South-East Asia Region is disproportionately affected by the problem of Tuberculosis. The Drug Resistant TB is as larger problem affecting our populations and significantly contributing to the morbidity and mortality.
“Each country in the region is having unique and diverse challenges. We, in the region can share our experiences, success stories and strategies to effectively counter the menace of Tuberculosis,” he said.
Nadda also urged WHO to include tuberculosis in its global priority list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to guide research, discovery, and development of new antibiotics.
“TB is the leading cause of death in the region and 15-49 years age group is most affected,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO South-East Asia region.
“TB and HIV affect people in their most productive years causing severe economic loss and endurable suffering. There is an urgent need to position TB as a key national health and development issue.”