The expert group will give advice on drugs and treatment regimen of all forms of TB including paediatric, extra pulmonary and drug resistant forms of TB; offer regular update on treatment policies in line with international guidelines and WHO recommendation for TB treatment including DR/TB in public as well as private sector.
They have also been asked to update the evidence base, national policy and guidelines relating to TB including the rapid uptake the new tools to improve PMDT. They have also been asked to advice on innovative approaches to achieve universal access to patient centred management of TB according to WHO guidelines.
Identify and prioritise research needs including operational research on key program issues regarding treatment, will also be done by the expert committee.
Dr S N Gaikwad, pulmonologist at Sassoon General Hospital, said, “The WHO has been revising its policies continuously and it is necessary to update policies at national level. It is therefore important step taken by government.”
The memorandum issued by ministry says that RNTCP has expanded its scope of activities and treatment regimen multi folds in past few years. Rapid changes are also happening in WHO guidelines for the management of TB.
Dr Nitin Abhyankar, pulmonologist from Pune, said, “It is essential to keep up with international guidelines on TB. The cases of drug resistant TB are rising in India. There are innovative new ways coming up on patient centric management and not the entire health care system knows about it. It would be important if the expert committee makes such methods public and keep the health care staff updated and aware about it.”