UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Elimination
Committed to achieving the target of zero Tuberculosis(TB) deaths by 2025, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, announced the National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis elimination (2017-2025) on 24th of March 2017- World TB Day. It is a framework to guide all the activities of all stakeholders including the national and the state governments, developmental partners, civil society organizations, international agencies, research institutions, the private sector and the other stake holders whose work is relevant to the elimination of TB in India. The National Strategic Plan will guide the development of the national project implementation plan (PIP) and state PIPs, as well as district health action plans (DHAP) under the national health mission (NHM).
Tuberculosis is usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis or various other strains of mycobacterium. It is an infectious disease and is air borne. It mostly affects the lungs but also can cause harm to other parts of the body. There is also an increasing concern about multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). MDR-TB develops in the host body when the availability of drug is insufficient to kill 100% of the bacteria due to the interruption in the course of antibiotic medicine. It is resistant to first line anti-TB drugs and is treated with second line anti-TB drugs, a combination of multiple medicines called SHREZ. Extensively Drug Resistant TB (XDR) develops when the concentration of TB in an area becomes extremely high that it becomes very difficult to control it. It is a condition where the strains are resistant to one or two medicines in the second line anti-TB drugs. Owing to poor management of cases and further mutations, there is a resistance to both first line and second line anti-TB drugs which is called Total Drug Resistant TB (TDR).
Features of the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination:
- The plan aims to achieve a 100% case detection by 2020 and complete elimination of the disease by 2025.
- Four strategic pillars of Detect-Treat-Prevent-Build (DTPB) have been developed for achieving the goals of the national strategic plan. The implementation will be the combined efforts of all the stakeholders.
- It aims at creating a synergy through a shift from a regulatory approach to a partnership approach to stream line the services in the largely unorganized and unregulated private sector.
- Anti-TB drug “Bedaqualine” has been introduced under the Conditional Access Programme (CAP).
- A proposal is made to explore the possibility of development of a first line anti-TB drug in the public sector, under the “Make in India” programme.
- Plan envisions a corpus fund for TB maintained under Bharat Kshay Niyantran Pratishtan (India TB control Foundation)
- E-Nikshay an online platform has been made user-friendly, so as to let the doctors notify the cases as and when they come across the infected patients.
- Various media campaigns have been planned to educate the masses about TB and its prevention. Swasth E- Gurukul is one such initiative of the World Health Organization.
The overwhelming challenge facing TB control in India remains delayed diagnosis and inadequate treatment, particularly among patients seeking care from private providers. The plan aims to detect and treat 100% of the TB cases and at the same time prevent further spread of the disease by building & strengthening the policies in this direction.