Lancet Study on TB

Medical Journal Lancet had undertaken a study on Tuberculosis (TB) in three high-burden countries, including India. The findings of the burden of TB in India are:

  • India’s goal to end the epidemic by 2025 was too “ambitious” and “unrealistic”, Hence unattainable.
  • 57% reduction in incidence and 72% reduction in mortality will been seen only by 2035 and strengthening the care cascade could reduce cumulative TB incidence by 38% in the case of India.
  • India needs to adopt measures to prevent TB commensurate with the population levels to eliminate the disease in the coming decades.
  • India needs to improve diagnosis and treatment for drug-sensitive and drug-resistant TB.
  • Lives of eight million (28%) people with TB can be saved over the next 30 years if tests are subsidised and patients are supported to complete the treatment.
  • For this subsidised and complete care, India requires an extra $290 million each year. This is significantly less than $32 billion losses which India incurs associated with TB mortality each year.
  • India needs to scale up access to TB services for all those seeking them, optimise engagement of private sector providers and guarantee universal access to drug susceptibility testing and second-line TB drugs.
  • Integration of TB services with the primary health system to reduce diagnostic delays is not happening.
  • The majority of MDR-TB cases in India due to direct transmission. Early diagnosis and prompt initiation of effective treatment should be a high priority for India to curb MDR-TB transmission since only 14% of people with MDR-TB completed treatment and just 11% remained disease-free at the end of one year.

India’s TB Burden

India accounted for 27% of the 10 million people, who had developed TB in 2017. Also, India accounted for 32% of global TB deaths among HIV-negative people, and 27% of combined TB deaths in 2017. The high out-of-pocket expenses incurred during TB treatment keeps people in poverty for seven years after completing treatment as stated by the Union Health Minister.

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