TB: DOTS therapy offered by RNTCP should be more flexible

If there is already a long delay before TB patients in India start treatment, the Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) strategy offered by India’s TB control programme does not make it easy for patients to access and complete the treatment. In contrast, patients who took DOTS from private practitioners faced fewer barriers and were more … Continue reading TB: DOTS therapy offered by RNTCP should be more flexible

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TB treatment programme in India may be generating more MDR cases

  The Joint Monitoring Mission 2015 has come down heavily on the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for their inability to handle the MDR-TB crisis in the country. The report released last month reflects on the findings, conclusions, and recommendations made by it in 2012. Despite … Continue reading TB treatment programme in India may be generating more MDR cases

TB in children

  Childhood TB has been neglected for decades, but in the past few years the WHO has begun to realise its real impact in terms of incidence, prevalence and mortality. By R. PRASAD THE number of annual new tuberculosis (TB) cases in India has been nearly 2.2 million for the past couple of years. Many … Continue reading TB in children

Editorial: Don’t ignore TB in children

After years of neglect, childhood tuberculosis — which accounts for over six per cent of the global TB burden — is finally getting due attention. WHO recently published its first-ever targeted road map outlining the steps needed to move towards zero childhood TB deaths. The report comes close on the heels of the organisation including … Continue reading Editorial: Don’t ignore TB in children

Is the new TB drug already being misused?

Bedaquiline was the first TB drug to be discovered in more than 40 years, and the first one specifically for multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). MDR-TB arises when the M. tuberculosis bacteria become resistant to two commonly used first-line TB drugs — isonazid and rifampicin. But less than six months after FDA approved the drug under … Continue reading Is the new TB drug already being misused?

India’s tuberculosis challenge

Published in The Hindu on October 21, 2012 Tuberculosis was declared a global health emergency in 1993, but it has been growing unchecked. Today, TB is causing millions of deaths every year globally. Like any infectious disease, TB is prevalent even in developed countries. But it is a more serious problem in the developing and … Continue reading India’s tuberculosis challenge

Editorial: TB or not TB

Published in The Hindu on April 24, 2012 With tuberculosis killing two people every three minutes and the number of people with drug-resistant TB increasing manifold every passing day, even the reports of the first few patients being detected with “totally drug-resistant” tuberculosis — i.e., resistant to all first- and second-line TB drugs — in … Continue reading Editorial: TB or not TB

Editorial: What ails public health research?

Published in The Hindu on May 2, 2011 Why has the incidence of tuberculosis in India remained around 170 per 100,000 people for the last 20 years despite DOTS, the directly observed treatment, short-course, being in place? Answer: DOTS is a passive system that kicks in only after a person takes the initiative and gets … Continue reading Editorial: What ails public health research?

India’s TB treatment strategy stands vindicated

Published in The Hindu on September 17, 2009 Research based on a study commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and published online in the Open Access journal PLoS Medicine, has clearly vindicated India’s position on treating newly diagnosed TB patients. “The papers clearly endorse the stand taken by RNTCP [Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme],” … Continue reading India’s TB treatment strategy stands vindicated

Evaluating a new MDR-TB test

Published in The Hindu on July 3, 2008 If patients failing to complete the treatment, and wrong medication by the medical practitioners often leads to drug resistance in TB patients, diagnosing people who are resistant to the first-line drugs is fraught with long delays. Starting next year, India will have a rapid test capable of … Continue reading Evaluating a new MDR-TB test