- Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, has been appointed Chairman of the Stop TB Partnership Board.
- He will serve a three year term, commencing July 2021, as the Chair of the Board of Stop TB Partnership.
- It was established in 2000 and is mandated to eliminate Tuberculosis as a public health problem.
- The organization was conceived following the meeting of the First Session of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Tuberculosis Epidemic held in London in March 1998.
- In its inaugural year itself, the Stop TB Partnership through the Amsterdam Declaration gave a call for collaborative action from ministerial delegations from 20 countries that bear the highest burden of TB.
- In 2019, it launched the updated Global Plan to End TB 2018-2022.
- The Kochon Prize is awarded annually by Stop TB Partnership to individuals and/or organizations that have made a significant contribution to combating TB.
- The Kochon Prize, which is endowed by the Kochon Foundation, a non-profit foundation registered in the Republic of Korea, consists of a USD 65,000 award.
- Its secretariat is based at Geneva, Switzerland.
High TB Burden Countries:
- In 2019, the 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87% of new TB cases.
- Eight countries account for two thirds of the total, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa (Global Tuberculosis Report: WHO)
- With an estimated 2.64 million TB patients, India has the largest burden of TB globally in terms of absolute numbers.
- Recently, the “Step Up for TB 2020”report by the Stop TB Partnership and Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has highlighted India’s conservative approach regarding the new medicines for Drug Resistant TB, putting lives of patients including children in danger.
Steps Taken by India:
- India has committed to eliminating TB in the country by 2025.
- Five years ahead of the global deadline of 2030.
- National Strategy Plan for TB Elimination 2017-2025
- The requirements for moving towards TB elimination in India have been arranged in four strategic areas of Detect, Treat, Prevent& Build.
- There is also across all four areas, an overarching theme of the Private Sector. Another overarching theme is that of Key Populations.
- TB HaregaDeshJeetega Campaign, NikshayPoshanYojana, etc.
- The End TB Strategy of WHO.
- World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24th March to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB.
- Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs.
- Transmission: 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.
- Symptoms: Cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
- Treatment: TB is 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.
- Multidrug-resistant TB (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 rare type of MDR TB that is resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, plus any fluoroquinolone and at least one of three injectable second-line drugs (i.e., amikacin, kanamycin, or capreomycin).