TB continues to be one of the biggest public health challenges in our country.
The first national survey done between 2014 and 2016 by ministry of health and family welfare found that the Fluoroquinolone (first line anti TB drug) resistance among Multi Drug Resistance (MDR)-TB patients is high and is similar to resistance rates reported by the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP). This is five years ahead of the 2030 deadline set by other countries.
The President will be joined by health minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and CEO of TB-HIV care Gareth Lowndes in leading the World Health Organization's global initiative in collaboration with Stop TB partnership to light-up several landmarks across the world during Saturday's commemoration.
Each year, World Tuberculosis Day is marked on March 24. TB is one of the top 10 causes of health-related deaths worldwide. Over 95 per cent of cases and deaths are recorded from developing countries. These two drugs (both expensive) will prove effective in treating drug resistant TB. About 2.79 million TB patients are estimated to be added annually. Today, as then, TB is a disease linked to poverty.
Balochistan is struggling to curb Tuberculosis as over 27,000 new cases emerge in the province every year.
The mobile-based patient support platform uses a system of short message service (SMS) texts, which alerts the client on the agreed time to take the medicine, and also allows for the user to chat with the support sponsors. "Patient-centered policies have been developed and implemented, including direct cash transfers and nutritional support for persons suffering TB and plans have been developed to engage civil society organisations", she said. It's understood that tuberculosis is spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes into the air. Moreover, the DH has also actively collaborated in research with local and overseas organisations in order to improve the chances of being cured, shorten the treatment time and achieve a breakthrough in TB prevention. The complete course of TB treatment is minimum 6 months. The government is pulling up its socks and introducing stricter rules, to get as many number of TB-afflicted cases to be notified with public health facilities as possible.
TB is no longer an unavoidable fact of life, but a result of health and human rights conditions.
Tuberculosis was known to be a deadly disease till the 80s, but with the advent of new drugs, the disease was nearly conquered by the medical science. Why have we allowed it to remain a major cause and outcome of poverty?
"The need of the hour is newer treatment modalities that target the disease from an unconventional angle". Currently, TBDHU has identified eight cases of respiratory tuberculosis, and is contacting people who may have been exposed. This is important as TB has now eclipsed HIV and malaria as the world's greatest killer.