Global TB Report 2022
Why in News:
- India’s TB incidence for the year 2021 is 210 per 100,000 population – compared to the baseline year of 2015 (incidence was 256 per lakh population in India) and there has been an 18% decline which is 7 percentage points better than the global average of 11%, said the Health Ministry, while reacting to the World Health Organizataion (WHO) Global TB Report 2022
About the Global TB Report 2022
- According to the WHO report an estimated 10.6 million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) in 2021, an increase of 4.5% from 2020, and 1.6 million people died from TB (including 187 000 among HIV positive people).
- The organisation’s 2022 Global TB report added that the burden of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) also increased by 3% between 2020 and 2021, with 450 000 new cases of rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB) in 2021.
- The WHO report also noted the crucial role of nutrition and under-nutrition as a contributory factor to the development of active TB disease.
Why the global increase?
- This is the first time in many years an increase has been reported in the number of people falling ill with TB and drug resistant TB.
- TB services are among many others disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, but its impact on the TB response has been particularly severe.
- Ongoing conflicts across Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East have further exacerbated the situation for vulnerable populations
How could India reduce TB?
- While the COVID-19 pandemic impacted TB Programmes across the world, India was able to successfully offset the disruptions caused, through the introduction of critical interventions in 2020 and 2021 – this led to the National TB Elimination Programme notifying over 21.4 lakh TB cases – 18% higher than 2020
- Measures included mandatory notification policy to ensure all cases were reported to the government
- Intensified door-to-door Active Case Finding drives to screen patients and ensure no household is missed and in 2021, over 22 crore people were screened for TB.
- The aim has been to find and detect more cases to arrest onward transmission of the disease in the community which has contributed to the decline in incidence.
- National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) aims at eliminating TB by 2025 in India. It is crafted in line with other health sector strategies and global efforts, such as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) End TB Strategy.
- Nikshay Portal: Nikshay is a unified ICT system for TB patient management and care in India and allows both public and private sector health care providers to manage their patients.
- Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY): Under the Nikshay Poshan Yojana government provide financial help to TB Patients for their treatment. The government provides Rs 500/- per month financial incentive to TB patients for their treatment and food. Nikshay Poshan Yojana Money will be transferred directly to the patient’s bank account.
- TB Programme’s nutrition support scheme – Nikshay Poshan Yojana – has proved critical for the vulnerable. During 2020 and 2021, India made cash transfers of 89 million dollars (INR 670 crore) to TB patients through a Direct Benefit Transfer programme.
- Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan was launched in India to provide additional nutritional support to those on TB treatment, through contributions from community including individuals and organisations.
- India conducted its own National Prevalence Survey to assess the true TB burden in the country – the world’s largest such survey ever conducted.
- BCG was first introduced in a limited scale in 1948 and became a part of the National TB Control Programme in 1962.
What is TB?
- Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB is an ancient disease and has been documented to have existed in Egypt as early as 3000 BC.
- TB most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also affect other organs (extra-pulmonary TB).
- TB spreads through the air when a person with TB of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, or talks.
- Common symptoms of TB are:
- Cough for three weeks or more, sometimes with blood-streaked sputum; Fever, especially at night; Weight loss and Loss of appetite.
Who is at risk?
- Over 95% of cases and deaths are in developing countries.
- People infected with TB bacteria have a 5–10% lifetime risk of falling ill with TB. Those with compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes, or people who use tobacco, have a higher risk of falling ill.
- However, TB is curable and preventable.
Treatment for TB
- Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) is the strategy followed for treatment of TB. Tuberculosis treatment requires at least 6 months of treatment.
- Currently, BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) is the only licensed vaccine available for the prevention of TB.
- BCG works well in certain places but not so well in others. Generally, the farther a country is from the equator, the higher is the efficacy.
- However, BCG gives excellent protection against severe forms of tuberculosis in children.
What is Multidrug-resistant TB?
- Anti-TB medicines have been used for decades and strains that are resistant to one or more of the medicines have been documented in every country surveyed. Drug resistance emerges when anti-TB medicines are used inappropriately, through incorrect prescription by health care providers, poor quality drugs, and patients stopping treatment prematurely.
- Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most effective first-line anti-TB drugs.
- MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs. However, second-line treatment options are limited and require extensive chemotherapy (up to 2 years of treatment) with medicines that are expensive and toxic.
Related Mains Question:
The lessons learnt from the Covid pandemic can be used to eradicate Tuberculosis. Comment– https://bit.ly/3TOJwKV
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