Will HIV-AIDS control policies help in eradicating TB?

A committee has been constituted to look into the matter. This committee has prepared an action plan to fight with the TB menace in the country. The action plan is likely to be presented before the Union Cabinet for their approval

Medical colleges to be recognised only if they have MDR-TB centres

The Union government is contemplating whether the methods and policies which were adopted to control the HIV-AIDS menace in India, can be adapted to control the growing threat of tuberculosis (TB).

In order to curb the rising cases of tuberculosis in the country, the union government has roped in the National Aids Control Organization (NACO) to help control TB.

A joint committee of the TB and AIDS control programme officers and the experts in the respective fields have been pressed with the responsibility to find out the solution to eradicate TB by 2025.

In India, the TB cases are rising in large numbers, which the HIV-AIDS cases have witnessed a decline by 56%. The policies and the strategies which were utilised had been successful to control the spread of HIV-AIDS in India. Owing to which, the union government is considering whether the same policies and the strategies could be useful in helping them keep a check on TB.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Additional Project Director, of the Mumbai District AIDS control society, Dr Shrikala Aacharya said, “Over the past few years we are witnessing a decrease in the HIV – AIDS cases. But, on the other hand, the cases of tuberculosis are rising. By adopting different strategies we have been successful in terms of controlling the HIV-AIDS menace. Now, the central government is contemplating whether TB can be controlled by adopting the same policies. For this, a committee was constituted by the union government. The committee has prepared the draft which will be submitted to the government soon.”

While Dr Lalitkumar Anande, Chief Medical Officer of the Sewri’s TB Hospital said, “The government has an aim to eradicate TB by 2025. In February this year, a meeting was held in Delhi, to discuss a possible integration between the HIV-AIDS and the TB control programme. I was also called for the meeting. In this meeting, we discussed various measures and policies to eradicate TB in India. There are various policies in connection with the HIV-AIDS programme, we need a long-term policy like HIV-AIDS for the TB programme as well.”

Ganesh Acharya, a social activist, who works for TB and HIV programme said, “HIV-AIDS cases have been decreasing over the past few years. The government is trying to integrate both TB and HIV programmes for better coordination. To reduce TB burden the government is taking help of NACO. This will help control TB in India.”