- Only two-thirds of people living with tuberculosis benefitted from the Union government’s Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY), sole nutrition support scheme, in 2021, which raises major public health concern.
- TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, belonging to the Mycobacteriaceae family consisting of about 200 members.
- Some Mycobacteria cause diseases like TB and Leprosy in humans and others infect a wide range of animals.
- In humans, TB most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also affect other organs (extra-pulmonary TB).
- TB is a very ancient disease and has been documented to have existed in Egypt as early as 3000 BC.
- TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.
- Common symptoms of active lung TB are cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
- TB is a treatable and curable disease. It is treated with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.
- Anti-TB medicines have been used for decades and strains that are resistant to 1 or more of the medicines have been documented in every country surveyed.
- Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful, first-line anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs.
- Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is a more serious form of MDR-TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs, often leaving patients without any further treatment options.
- India has set a target to eliminate TB by 2025. Experts believe that to reach this goal, the country must go beyond the medical aspects.
- The government needs to take stock of where the bottlenecks are. There is no point in pouring more money into a failing system.
SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT