Alarmed by the rising threat of tuberculosis (TB) worldwide, the health ministers of G20 countries discussed the immediate action plan to fight TB. The 29th coordination committee board meeting of ‘Stop TB’ programme was held in Berlin, Germany. Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, JP Nadda had represented India in the global leaders’ summit.
The G-20 Health Ministers have assembled in Berlin under the banner of, ‘Together today for a healthy tomorrow’ to discuss collaboration in the area of public health covering a wide range of issues.
Addressing the global community, Union Minister JP Nadda said, “The global community has set a deadline to eliminate TB by 2030, but India is committed to eradicate TB, much before that by 2025.”
Nadda further added, “Indian government has prepared a holistic plan for multi-drug resistant TB. We have told the world that, India is committed and has an ambitious plan ready to tackle the menace of TB. We hope that rest of the world will also coordinate with us.”
“India is devising a comprehensive strategy for effective implementation of the programme at the grass root levels. We are working out the minute details. India has already implemented the daily course (regimen) in five states and year end, we will be implementing this in all the states, said the union minister briefing the G-20 health ministers.
Tuberculosis detection is the main aim of the Indian government. For early detection the government has already set-up 628 CB-NaT machines, and 500 more machines would be introduced soon said Nadda.
Health experts say, despite the fact that the Indian government provides TB diagnosis and treatment free of cost in public health facilities, 1.3 of the 2.8 million TB cases in India are treated in the private sector.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) fact sheet states, TB statistics for India for 2015 give an estimated incidence figure of 2.2 million cases of TB for India out of a global incidence of 9.6 million. The TB incidence for India is the number of new cases of active TB disease in India during a certain amount of time.
It is estimated that about 40 per cent of the Indian population is infected with TB bacteria, the vast majority of whom have latent TB rather than TB disease.
A recent study published in Lancet Infectious Disease journal states that by 2040, one in every eight TB cases in India will be multi-drug-resistant (MDR) TB.
According to Health Ministry figures, India has 2.8 million cases of TB every year. Of these, 2.8% are new cases of MDR while another 11.2 are acquired cases of multi-drug resistance.