TB Control on Indian Government's Radar

While, the country's annual health budget is set to increase by a meagre 13% this year, the Planning Commission has decided to raise allocation for the TB control programme to about Rs 710 crore for 2012-13. This amounts a whopping Eighty percent increase in the RNTCP budget.

In 2011-12, the programme had received Rs 400 crore. The Revised National TB control programme (RNTCP) had demanded around Rs 936 crore for 2012-13. But it will get around Rs 710 crore.

According to the 12th Plan document for TB control, for the period 2012-2017 - Anti-TB drugs alone are projected to cost Rs 1,797 crore, of which 62% is for costly second-line MDR TB drugs that such patients are otherwise unable to afford themselves.

Some TB stats

India accounts for about one fifth (21%) of TB's global incidence, or an estimated 2 million cases of which around 0.87 million are infectious cases..

The Annual Risk of TB Infection (ARTI) is
1.1% and prevalence is around 266 per lakh population in 2010.

The four countries that had the largest number of estimated cases of MDR-TB in absolute terms in 2008 were China (100,000), India (99,000), Russia (38,000) and South Africa (13,000).

Tuberculosis trails behind only HIV as the world’s leading cause of death from infectious disease. (But its an irony that in spite of its impact on human health and economic growth, it has not ranked among the pharmaceutical industry's priorities.)

About RNTCP

The revised strategy was pilot-tested in 1993 and launched as a national programme in 1997. By March 2006, the programme was implemented nationwide in 633 districts, covering 1114 million (100%) population.

Phase II of the RNTCP started from October 2005, which is a step towards achieving the TB-related targets of the Millennium Development Goals. Since 2006, RNTCP is implementing the WHO recommended “Stop TB Strategy”, which in addition to DOTS, addresses all the newer issues and challenges in TB control.

The objectives of RNTCP are:
  • To achieve and maintain at least 85% cure rate amongst New Smear Positive (NSP) pulmonary TB cases.
  • To achieve and maintain at least 70% detection of such cases.
References:

WHO India
Nature News



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