One of the most welcoming schemes in the budget this year was about nutritional support for tuberculosis (TB) patients in India. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced in his budget speech on Thursday about allocation of Rs 600 crore nutritional support to TB patients in the country.
In his speech at the budget session for the financial year 2018-19, Jaitley announced, “A sum of Rs 600 crore has been allocated for the nutritional support of the TB patients. Rs 500 will be provided to each of the TB patients in the country undergoing treatment.”
Most experts are happy with the move calling it positive. “Budgetary support for TB patients is a welcome move. Indian Medical Association (IMA) has been partnering the government and will continue to do so in the END TB program,” said Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, IMA president.
Dr Lalitkumar Anande, Chief Medical Officer at the Sewri’s Tuberculosis Hospital said, “Nutrition plays a vital part in building the immunity of a TB patient which has led a person to become Active TB from his latent stage. It is advisable for a TB patient to consume good quality Proteins with Micronutrients and Vitamins (A,B,C,D,E) and Trace elements especially Zinc along with antioxidant like Alpha Lipoic Acid. Rs 600 Cr is a welcome decision provided the patient eats food who has lost his appetite due to TB.”
Since March 2017, there has been an increased focus on ending TB. TB has remained a major killer for Indians and is very much preventable. The air borne disease reportedly killed 423,000 Indians in 2016.
According to the Global TB Report 2017 which was released by the World Health Organization (WHO), last October revealed that India topped the list of seven nations, accounting for 64% of the 10.4 million new TB cases worldwide in 2016.