National tuberculosis control programme to be intensified

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on January 26, 2011

Dr. K. S. Sachdeva, (left) CMO, Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare with Dr. P. V. Ramesh , Principal Secretary , Health , Government of AP at a programme on 'Revised National TB Control Programme ' in Hyderabad onTuesday. -- Photo by P.V.SIVAKUMAR   -  Business LIne

In one of the largest TB control initiatives in the world, the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) now plans to intensify its efforts by engaging more people from the private sector and NGOs to spread its reach.

The RNTCP has helped more than 12.6 million patients till date, averting more than 2.2 million deaths. The programme now seeks to lay thrust on multi-drug resistant TB while also handling TB-HIV co-infection, according to Dr K.S. Sachdeva, Chief Medical Officer, Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Addressing newspersons here on Tuesday to outline the initiatives to control TB, Dr Sachdeva said a fifth of the global tuberculosis cases are from India. Of the 9.5 million global annual incidents of TB, about two million are from India. This calls for a concerted national response.

He said having achieved the global objective of case detection and treatment success rate for last three consecutive years, the programme has set itself an ambitious target of universal access to quality TB care for patients from any healthcare provider they choose. Therefore, the effort is to engage the private sector. He referred to newer challenges like multi-drug resistant TB and TB-HIV co-infection that can reverse the gains made by the programme in the last decade.

Conscious of these challenges, the programme started addressing them in the early stages. As a part of this effort, the intensified TB-HIV package is now being implemented.

Significantly, the programme recognises multi-drug resistant TB as a standard care. This provides for a two-year treatment. The treatment and care cost about Rs 1 lakh.

As a part of the efforts to bring about a change in the treatment, the number of laboratories are being increased across the country.

Since one of the big challenges is to ensure that patients take the entire medication phase seriously, a campaign ? called pura course, pucca ilaaj ? has been initiated to convey its importance.

Published on January 26, 2011

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