TB Current Affairs - 2019
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World Tuberculosis Day 2019 was observed on March 24th with the theme “It’s time”. World Tuberculosis Day is celebrated to raise awareness about the devastating consequences of TB and how to end the global epidemic of this lung disease.
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). Tuberculosis affects the lungs and can also infect other parts of the body. Early symptoms of TB include bad cough which lasts for 3 weeks or longer. It causes pain in the chest and one might also end up coughing blood in case of tuberculosis.
The theme of World Tuberculosis Day 2019 “It’s time” draws attention towards the urgency to act on the commitments made by global leaders to build accountability regarding TB and increase access of prevention and treatment of TB.
As part of World World Tuberculosis Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has initiated “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB”, a joint initiative with Global Fund and Stop TB Partnership under which communities, civil society organisations, governments and health-care providers come together to ensure that no one is left behind and everyone gets equal and fair information about tuberculosis, its causes, symptoms and risk factors.
Why March 24th was chosen as World Tuberculosis Day?
March 24th is observed as World Tuberculosis Day because it was on March 24th 1882, TB bacterium was discovered by Dr Robert Koch. The discovery of TB bacterium marked the first step towards diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis.
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.