What the article is about?
- Talks about the deficiencies of RNTCP and way ahead.
Syllabus: GS-II Health, Social Justice
- TB is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, belonging to the Mycobacteriaceae family consisting of about 200 members.
- In 2019, MDR-TB remained a public health crisis and a health security threat.
- MultiDrug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a strain of TB that cannot be treated with the two most powerful first-line treatment anti-TB drugs.
- Extensively Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that are resistant to several of the most effective anti-TB drugs.
- Tuberculosis is the worst among endemic diseases, killing 1.5 million people every year (WHO).
- In India, the TB capital of the world, the disease kills some 1,400 persons every day.
- The National TB Control Programme of 1962 was a district-based one with public-private participation.
- WHO experts, without factoring in the diﬀerences between the TB epidemiology of poor and rich countries, used a theoretical construct of TB control to design RNTCP.
Flaws in the programme:
- First, for a programme that is heavily funded by the government, there is no prescribed method of monitoring the trajectory of TB control.
- Second, the assumption that treating pulmonary TB patients alone would control TB was epidemiologically fallacious in India.
- HIV infection, diabetes, undernutrition, lung damage due to pollution, tobacco smoking, fall in immune functions due to chronic diseases, alcoholism, etc. accelerate reactivation TB.
- Third, RNTCP has failed to elicit people’s partnership in TB control.
- In India’s AIDS Control Programme, public education was given high priority.
- Without people’s informed participation, stigma and delay in seeking help will continue.
- Realising that TB was not under control, WHO called for another programme revision through a World Health Assembly Resolu-tion in 2014 to eliminate TB by 2035.
- Emboldened by the promise of an eﬀective strategy, the Prime Minister announced in 2018 that India would eliminate TB by 2025.
- As we have a huge backlog of latent TB, we cannot eliminate TB, but we must aim for a high level of control (lowering from 200 per lakh per year to 50 per lakh per year) and document it with measurement.
- Trained State and District TB ofﬁcers are already on the job and we have an extensive network of TB clinics and an army of community and ﬁeld workers.
- Once the deﬁciencies listed above are corrected, we can control TB.