Notifying, prevention, and treatment are the three pillars to tuberculosis elimination

Health Care, Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine Comments Off

Access to TB services need to be scaled up in India

New Delhi, 23 March 2019: According to The Lancet Global Health article based on modelling for three high-burden countries, including India, compared with 2015 data, 57% reduction in incidence and 72% reduction in mortality will been seen only by 2035. Strengthening the care cascade could reduce cumulative TB incidence by 38% in the case of India, it notes. India must adopt measures to prevent TB on a population level to eliminate the disease in the coming decades, it adds.

The Lancet Commission recommends that India should scale up access to TB services for all those seeking them, optimize engagement of private sector providers and guarantee universal access to drug susceptibility testing and second line TB drugs.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “India has set 2025 as deadline to be free of TB. Although preventing and controlling TB is a collaborative effort, doctors are major stakeholders in the control of the condition. Control of TB depends on early detection, which means early and better treatment to prevent further spread of the disease. Contact tracing interrupts the chain of transmission of the disease by early diagnosis of cases as well as timely and complete treatment. All household and close contacts of patients with infectious TB should be traced, screened and treated with a full course of ATT if found to have TB. Most of us regularly treat many patients of TB. And, there can be no time better than today, World TB Day, to reiterate our commitment to ‘GTN’ and file our returns.”

The IMA End TB Strategy of “GTN”, where G stands for GeneXpert test (sputum diagnosis), T for Trace (contacts) and Treat. N is to Notify the disease at Nikshay (mandatory).

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-chief of IJCP, said, “Ask yourself, how many GeneXpert tests you have ordered, how many contacts you have traced and screened for TB; and how many TB patients you have notified at Nikshay. You can notify even today, if not done earlier. It is not necessary to notify the day you diagnose the patient as having TB.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Wash your hands after sneezing, coughing or holding your hands near your mouth or nose.
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue when you cough, sneeze or laugh. Discard used tissues in a plastic bag, then seal and throw it away.
  • Do not attend work or school.
  • Avoid close contact with others.
  • Sleep in a room away from other family members.
  • Ventilate your room regularly. TB spreads in small closed spaces. Put a fan in your window to blow out air that may contain bacteria.