health centre Current Affairs - 2020

Tuberculosis: India renames its programme; WHO endorses India developed tech-TrueNAt MTB

On January 17, 2020, Government of India renamed its National TB Control Programme to National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme. Also, the WHO (World Health Organization) recently endorsed on technology developed by Indian scientists to detect the disease called TrueNat MTB in terms of accuracy.


GoI has renamed the programme to National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme. The name change is in line with the goal of India in eliminating the disease by 2025. This is five years ahead of the goal of United Nations Sustainable Development target.

This will give big thrust to people working towards elimination of tuberculosis. Also, with the WHO stating that TruNat MTB, the molecular test developed by Indian Scientists has greatest accuracy, has increased India’s confidence in eliminating the disease as planned


The TrueNat test a new molecular test that can diagnose Tuberculosis in one hour. The test uses polymerase chain reaction to detect bacteria. The device that conducts the test is battery operated.

India’s plans

The TrueNat MTB kit is to be available at community health centres as a first step. Slowly, it is to be extended to the primary health centres as well. There are around 5,500 to 6,000 primary health centres in the country.

Leprosy and Polio

Previously renaming was also done for leprosy and polio programmes. In 1983, National Control Programme was renamed to National Leprosy Eradication Programme. Also, in case of Polio, National Programme for Control of Polio myelitis was renamed to Polio eradication Programme.

WHO releases Global Health Challenges for 2020

Every year, the World Health Organization releases list of Global Health Challenges of the forth coming year. This year, on January 13, 2020, the organization had released the top global health challenges for the year.

Global Health Challenges

The list included 13 potential threats. The foremost threat was Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) and climate crisis. The 2 threats have been on the top for the previous year, 2019 as well. The report says around 7 million people are affected because of climate change. Climate change has increased malnutrition and is fueling the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria. The other threats that have topped the list includes influenza epidemic and spread of infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.

More than one-quarter of death is due to stroke, heart attack, chronic respiratory disease and lung cancer. The chances of these diseases are increased by raising levels of air pollution.

A new entrant to the list of top 13 potential threats is Lack of Access. The report says that around a third of world population lack access to vaccines, diagnostic tools, medicines and other essential health products.

Shortage of health care workers is also the major global concern. WHO says that another 18 million health workers are required by 2030.

Above of all unhealthy food diets is also major threat. Lack of food, unhealthy diets and unsafe food are responsible for one-third of global disease burden.

Other Threats

The threats are not only diseases-related. It also includes other threats such as social media, infrastructure, human resources and new technologies. The misinformation about diseases in social media is a major threat as it is spread false fears among people. Also, delivering health care in conflict ridden areas is also the biggest challenge according to WHO.