Taking on TB

Syllabus: GS-I, Subject: Society and Social Justice, Topic: Social sector- Health, Issue: TB elimination

Context: India TB report-2024

Key findings:

  • India achieved its 2023 goal of initiating treatment for 95% of diagnosed TB patients.
  • India may not achieve TB elimination target next year due to the increasing Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis(MDR-TB) epidemic.
  • Better testing for MDR-TB, with almost 60% of diagnosed cases undergoing drug resistance tests

Concerns in TB elimination:

  • Molecular testing is preferred for MDR-TB detection, yet its usage remains limited.
  • Completion rates for MDR-TB treatment are below 60%.
  • Mental healthcare support for TB patients remains insufficient.
  • TB disproportionately affects the poor, slum dwellers, and HIV/AIDS patients.

Recent steps to eliminate TB:

  • Patent office’s decision not to renew Johnson and Johnson’s copyright on bedaquiline enables the development of cheaper generic versions.

The way ahead:

  • Transitioning to bedaquiline, a shorter-duration drug for MDR-TB treatment.
  • Combine advanced technology and compassionate care to advance TB treatment.
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