Updated: October 28, 2022 8:08 p.m IST
New Delhi [India]October 28 (ANI): India has seen an 18 percent increase in tuberculosis (TB) cases compared to 2020, after it recorded 21.4 lakh tuberculosis cases in 2021. According to the WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2022 released on 27- as of October 2022, 21.4 lakh TB cases have been notified in India in 2021, 18 percent higher than in 2020.
More than 22 crore people were screened for TB in 2021 across the country for early detection and treatment of TB, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in a press release.
It stated that India has, in fact, performed much better on important metrics compared to other countries over time.
Under the new initiative Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan, more than 40,000 Nikshay Mitra are supporting more than 10.45 lakh TB patients all over the country.
The WHO Global TB Report 2022 noted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis, treatment and burden of disease for TB throughout the world.
India’s TB incidence for the year 2021 is 210 per 100,000 population – compared to the baseline year of 2015 (incidence was 256 per lakh population in India); there was an 18 percent decline, which is 7 percentage points better than the global average of 11 percent. These figures also place India at the 36th position in terms of incidence rate (from largest to smallest incidence numbers), the MoHFW release added.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted TB Programs around the world, India has been able to successfully compensate for the disruptions caused, by introducing critical interventions in 2020 and 2021 – this has led to the National TB Elimination Program notifying over 21.4 lakh TB cases – 18 pc higher than 2020.
This success can be attributed to a set of forward-looking measures implemented by the Program over the years, such as the mandatory notification policy to ensure that all cases are reported to the government, the release added.
Further, enhanced door-to-door Active Case Finding drives to screen patients and ensure that no household is missed has been a pillar of the Programme.
In 2021, more than 22 crore people have been screened for TB. The goal was to find and detect more cases to arrest further transmission of the disease in the community that contributed to the decrease in incidence.
To this end, India has also expanded its diagnostic capability to enhance detection efforts. Indigenously-developed molecular diagnostics have helped expand the reach of diagnostics to every part of the country today. India has more than 4,760 molecular diagnostic machines across the country, reaching every district, the release added.
In this background, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has communicated to WHO that the Ministry has already started domestic studies to arrive at a more accurate estimate of incidence and mortality rates in a systematic manner and the data from India will be provided after the completion of studies. in the early part of 2023.
The WHO also acknowledged the position of the Ministry of Health on this and noted in the Report that “estimates of TB incidence and mortality in India for 2000-2021 are provisional and subject to finalization, in consultation with the Ministry of Health of India and Family Welfare”.
The results of the study by the Ministry of Health, initiated by the Central TB Division (CTD), will be available in about six months and further shared with WHO.
These steps are in line with India conducting its own National Prevalence Survey to assess the actual TB burden in the country – the largest such survey in the world ever conducted. The WHO Report notes that India is the only country to have completed such a survey in 2021, a year that saw “considerable recovery in India,” the release reported.
The WHO Report also noted the crucial role of nutrition and malnutrition as contributing factors to the development of active TB disease.
In this regard, the nutritional support scheme of the TB Program – Nikshay Poshan Yojana – has proved critical for the vulnerable. During 2020 and 2021, India made cash transfers of $89 million (Rs 670 crore) to TB patients through Direct Benefit Transfer program, the release added.
In addition, in September 2022, the President of India launched the first of its kind initiative, Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan to provide additional nutritional support to those on TB treatment, through contributions from the community including individuals and organizations.
So far, 40,492 donors have come forward to support more than 10,45,269 patients across the country, the release added. (ANI)