Elimination of Tuberculosis Current Affairs - 2020

Facts Box: India extends 1 million USD to North Korea

The Government of India recently extended 1 million USD of medical assistance to North Korea on the request of World Health Organization. The medical assistance is provided as part of WHO anti-Tuberculosis programme.


It is to be noted that North Korea is under sanctions from United Nations Security Council. However, India’s medical assistance is under the aegis of WHO anti-Tuberculosis programme and therefore exempted from sanctions.

Sanctions against North Korea

Several Countries have imposed sanctions against North Korea. This includes Australia, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. The first sanction against North Korea was passed by the United Nations in 2006. The United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea was established.

Tuberculosis in India

India is committed to the target of eliminating Tuberculosis from the country by 2025. This is ahead of the deadline set by the World Health Organization. The WHO aims to eradicate WHO from the world completely by 2030.

India has launched the National Tuberculosis Programme to work on the target. According to the annual Tuberculosis Report, 2020 released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Tripura and Nagaland are the best performing states under the programme. Daman and Diu and dadra and Nagar Haveli are the least performers.

Initiatives in India for TB

  • Nikshay Ecosystem: It is the National TB information system
  • Nikshay Poshan Yojana: It is aimed to provide financial support to TB patients
  • Saksham Project: It is a project of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) providing psycho-social counselling to TB patients in the country
  • TB Harega Desh Jeetega: It is a campaign that was launched in 2019

Study: Impacts of COVID-19 lowered due to BCG Vaccination

Researchers of biomedical sciences of New York Institute of Technology say that the countries such as Netherlands, Italy and United States are more severely affected than countries with BCG policies. The Bacilus Calmette-Guerin vaccine that had been administered in India to protect the children against Tuberculosis, according to the study might be a game changer.

Key Highlights of the Study

Iran, according to the study started BCG programme late in 1984, had elevated mortality rate. Brazil on the other hand that began the programme early had lower mortality rate. Around 180 countries were studied. Out of these 157 are currently using BCG programme. Several European countries that have higher mortality rates have dropped the programme between 1963 and 2010.

BCG Vaccine

The vaccine is a part of universal immunization programme. The vaccine is a live weakened form of mycobacterium bovis that causes TB in cattle. The bacteria that causes TB in humans is mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Immunization Programme

India has the highest burden of TB in the world. The BCG programme was introduced in 1948 in the country. The BCG had already proved its effectiveness against SARS infection.

India’s opinion in the study

India believes that more scientific details are required to confirm the study and create an action plan based on these findings. However, Australia has already stepped into the research on the success of BCG vaccination against COVID-19