TB patients got unhindered support despite pandemic constraints: MoS Health

MoS for Health and Family Welfare Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar. File   | Photo Credit: KAMAL NARANG

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, India has managed to scale up access to free rapid molecular diagnostics and treatment for tuberculosis while financial and nutritional support to affected patients continued without any hindrance, Union Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said on Tuesday.

Efforts made by the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) led to significant improvements in time-to-diagnosis, treatment adherence and outcomes, Ms. Pawar said as she chaired the brainstorming session on “Strategies for Ending TB by 2025”, a Health Ministry statement said.

Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to eliminate TB in India by 2025, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target of 2030, Ms. Pawar said, “We have a mere 37 months before the deadline to end TB in the country. We need to shift gears and come up with innovative solutions to make up for the setbacks due to COVID-19 and move beyond.” As proper diagnosis and prompt treatment are key to TB elimination, the NTEP is working towards accelerating universal TB care coverage and preventive services in the country.

TB preventive treatment has been prioritised under the pillar of “Prevent” in the National Strategic Plan to End TB, Ms. Pawar said.

Scaling up TB preventive treatment and at the same time decentralising it to bring services closer to patients, are of utmost importance to break the chain of transmission and breakdown of those with TB infection into full-blown TB disease, she said.

Highlighting the Union government’s efforts for TB eradication, she added, “TB has now been made an essential part of Comprehensive Primary Health Care and is integrated with Ayushman Bharat scheme. Our aim is to detect cases early and prevent the emergence of new cases of TB by expanding TB care through engagement of various stakeholders, including the community. The nationwide ‘TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan’ has been launched in this regard.” Mentioning the introduction of newer anti-TB drugs, newer regimens and programmes, Ms. Pawar appreciated the research and development efforts to combat TB.

The session focussed on five pillars – improving case detection, improving treatment adherence, evolving ways to converge with other social welfare programmes, utilising and refining private sector engagement and finally integration of NTEP within our health system for accelerating TB eradication in the country, the statement said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 10:59:32 AM |

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