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India to be TB-free by 2025


As per the latest report, there is around 19% increase in the TB patients in 2021 as compared to previous year.


Prelims, GS-III: Science and Technology, GS-II: Social Justice (Issues related to Health, Government Policies and Initiatives)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. TB Report 2022
  2. What is Tuberculosis?
  3. BCG Vaccine for TB
  4. Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY)

TB Report 2022

  • A 19% increase in the TB cases was witnessed in 2021 from the previous.
  • The number of incident TB patients (new and relapse) notified during 2021 was 19,33,381 against the 16,28,161 in 2020, noted India TB Report 2022 released on Thursday.
  • The report said despite the decline in TB notifications observed around the months corresponding to the two major COVID–19 waves, the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) reclaimed these numbers.
  • It said 18 States have committed to ending TB by 2025 by implementing State–specific strategic plans and have devised a district–specific strategic plan, which shall serve as a guiding tool for the programme managers.
  • National TB Prevalence Survey Report: The report was released by the government. It was conducted from 2019 to 2021 to know the actual disease burden of TB.
    • The reports said there has been an increase in the mortality rate due to all forms of TB between 2019 and 2020 by 11%.
  • The survey report said prevalence of microbiologically confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) among 15 years and above in India was 316/lakh population with the highest PTB prevalence of 534/lakh in Delhi and the lowest PTB prevalence of 115/lakh in Kerala.

What is Tuberculosis?

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria belonging to the Mycobacteriaceae family consisting of about 200 members.
  • Most infections do not have symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis.
  • The bacteria that cause TB are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • In 15–20% of active cases, the infection spreads outside the lungs, causing other kinds of TB.
  • TB is a very ancient disease and has been documented to have existed in Egypt as early as 3000 BC.
  • In humans, TB most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also affect other organs (extra-pulmonary TB).
  • Other historically dreaded diseases like smallpox, leprosy, plague and cholera have been either eradicated or controlled to a large extent due to advances in science and technology.
  • However, TB continues to be a major public health problem in the world.
  • According to the WHO’s Global TB Report, 10 million people developed TB in 2019 with 1.4 million deaths. India accounts for 27% of these cases.

BCG Vaccine for TB

  • BCG was developed by two Frenchmen, Albert Calmette and Camille Guerin, by modifying a strain of Mycobacterium bovis (that causes TB in cattle) till it lost its capacity to cause disease while retaining its property to stimulate the immune system.
  • It was first used in humans in 1921.
  • Currently, BCG is the only licensed vaccine available for the prevention of TB.
  • It is the world’s most widely used vaccine with about 120 million doses every year and has an excellent safety record.
  • In India, BCG was first introduced in a limited scale in 1948 and became a part of the National TB Control Programme in 1962.
  • India is committed to eliminate TB as a public health problem by 2025.

Effectiveness of BCG

  • One intriguing fact about BCG is that it works well in some geographic locations and not so well in others.
  • Generally, the farther a country is from the equator, the higher is the efficacy.
  • In children, BCG provides strong protection against severe forms of TB.
  • This protective effect appears to wane with age and is far more variable in adolescents and adults, ranging from 0–80%.
  • In addition to its primary use as a vaccine against TB, BCG also protects against respiratory and bacterial infections of the newborns and other mycobacterial diseases like leprosy and Buruli’s ulcer.
  • It is also used as an immunotherapy agent in cancer of the urinary bladder and malignant melanoma.

Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY)

  • Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY) is a direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme for nutritional support to Tuberculosis (TB) patients rolled out by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
  • The scheme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under National Health Mission (NHM).
  • This scheme is implemented across all States and UTs in India.
  • All TB patients, including all existing TB patients under treatment are eligible to receive incentives.

Note: The scheme is not related to Poshan Mission which is an initiative of Ministry of Women and Child

-Source: The Hindu  

June 2024