Breaking the drug-resistant TB transmission cycle important

Nearly two months after the Health Ministry set a highly ambitious target of working towards elimination of tuberculosis by 2025, a study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases indicates that India’s TB crisis is all set to snowball by 2040 when one in 10 cases could be drug-resistant. What is even more alarming is that the increased... Continue Reading →

Without a magic wand, India cannot eliminate TB by 2025

At the end of 50 years of tuberculosis control activities, the disease remains a major health challenge in India. As per new estimates, the number of new cases every year has risen to 2.8 million and mortality is put at 4,80,000 each year. These figures may go up when the national TB prevalence survey is... Continue Reading →

About 0.5 million TB patients approaching RNTCP centres are not treated

In 2013, India had about 2.7 million people with TB, which is 23 per cent of the global burden of TB. India also accounted for 27 per cent (760,000) of the world’s “missing” patients — those may not have received effective TB care or may have received potentially suboptimal TB care in India’s private sector.... Continue Reading →

Pharmacies in India may not be causing TB drug-resistance

If an earlier study revealed the tendency of private practitioners to liberally use antibiotics to treat tuberculosis leading to a delay in TB diagnosis and treatment and increase the chances of TB spreading within a community, pharmacies in Delhi, Mumbai and Patna are no better. A study published on August 25, 2016 in the journal... Continue Reading →

Indian private sector bears 2-3 times higher TB burden than estimated

A study has found that in 2014 there were 2.2 million TB patients treated in India’s private sector alone. This is 2-3 times higher than current estimates. In all probability, the higher TB burden in the private sector might still be an underestimation as drug-resistant TB cases were not taken into account. Thus, the private... Continue Reading →

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: Social media campaign launched to get Indian government to act

In a desperate bid to urge the Indian government to gets its act together on TB diagnosis and treatment, the Treatment Action Group (TAG) today launched a social media campaign using Twitter called #BrokenTBPromises. The campaign urges the government to live up to promises it has made but has failed to keep in nine areas of... Continue Reading →

The yawning gap in tuberculosis care in India

The dismal state of tuberculosis (TB) care in the private sector in India has been exposed by a November 2015 study (The Lancet) that employed a novel strategy of using standardised TB patients — healthy individuals trained to pose as TB patients and interact with health-care providers. Standardised patient method has been widely used in India... Continue Reading →

Trials with antibiotics lead to TB diagnosis delay

Tuberculosis patients in India who seek care in the private sector face a delay of as long as two months before they are diagnosed correctly — if at all — according to systematic reviews of Indian studies. This becomes alarming as private sector accounts for almost half of the TB care delivered in India. A... Continue Reading →

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