Public Health Current Affairs

Moscow declaration adopted for co-ordinated action on TB, end of HIV co-infection deaths

Health ministers, NGOs, and private sector representatives from 120 countries have adopted Moscow Declaration on the sidelines of the first WHO Global Ministerial Conference.

The declaration calls for eliminating additional deaths from HIV co-infection by 2030 and achieving synergy in coordinated action against Tuberculosis and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). India is among signatories to the declaration. A co-infection is when a person suffers from two infections at same time.

Key Facts

Moscow declaration emphasis need for fixing multisectoral responsibility towards ending TB by 2035, the global target. It recognises need for multisectoral accountability framework to end TB, which is both political and technical.

This framework is critical to creating enabling operational environment for multisectoral action, fast-tracking priority interventions, monitoring overall progress, and accelerating advocacy at all levels within different sectors, all of which is necessary to achieve committed milestones and targets to end TB epidemic.

Multi-drug resistant TB will be tackled as national public health crisis. National inter-ministerial commission will be set up by 2018 to achieve fast-tracking universal access to health care through all state and non-state care providers by adopting WHO-recommended TB diagnostics, drugs, technologies and standards of care. It will also ensure attention to high-risk groups and vulnerable populations such as migrants, refugees and prisoners.


Government introduces Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has launched Daily Drug Regimen for treatment of Tuberculosis (TB) patients across the country under The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).

Under it, Health Ministry is providing thrice weekly regimen for treatment of TB, however it has now decided to change treatment strategy for TB patients from thrice weekly to daily drug regimen using fixed dose combinations (FDC) for treatment. This change will bring transformation in approach and intensity to deal with this disease which accounts for about 4.2 lakh deaths every year.

Key Facts

The daily FDC anti-TB drugs will be made available to private pharmacy or at private practitioners to dispense to TB patients who seek care in private sector, depending upon convenience of patient and practitioner free of cost. Health Ministry will take this forward with all major hospitals, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and other professional medical associations to expand access to daily FDC to all TB patients.

This treatment strategy will use Ethambutol in continuation phase for all patients, drugs to be given daily (as against only 3 times weekly previously), fixed dose combination (FDC) tablets will be used to reduce pill burden (as against separate 7 tablets previously), for children, child friendly formulations as dispersible tablets. Moreover, use of Information Technology (IT) enabled treatment adherence support system will be also undertaken.

Tuberculosis (TB)

TB is bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that most often affect lungs. The disease is spread from person to person through the air. It commonly affects lungs but can also affect other parts of body. It is second biggest killer disease worldwide next only to HIV/AIDS. It can be completely cured with proper and regular medication.