70th NATCON concludes: Call to improve care and control of TB and respiratory diseases

Dr Raghav Gattani, CNS Medical Correspondent  
[हिन्दी] Sunday, 21st February 2016 marked the concluding day of 70th National Conference of TB and Respiratory Diseases (70th NATCON). 70th NATCON is being organized by TB Association of India, Respiratory Medicine Department of King George’s Medical University (KGMU) and UP TB Association in Lucknow (20-21 February 2016).

Professor (Dr) Surya Kant, Head of Respiratory Medicine Department of KGMU and Organizing Secretary of 70th NATCON said: “Not just TB but other chest diseases also have been historically neglected. At present 25% of population suffers allergy in our country. 5% of them are suffering from asthma and even in developed countries like USA there is 10% increase in Asthma patients every year. Childhood pneumonia continues to be a lead cause of death for children under five years of age. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is another neglected chest disease which can be largely prevented by effective tobacco control. Also, people with diabetes are at 2-3 times higher risk of developing tuberculosis”

Central TB Division of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, gave an update on Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) which included topics such as: present status of TB control in India, engaging private practitioners and medical colleges in RNTCP, drug resistant TB, and role of International organizations. Tobacco is the single largest preventable risk factor for all cancers: 20% of all cancer deaths and up to 70% of lung cancer deaths are due to tobacco use. If tobacco cessation is scaled up effectively in India along with comprehensive tobacco control, then not only lung cancer burden will drop significantly but also rates of other cancers and other tobacco-related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases will dip.

PK Sen TB Association of India Gold Medal Oration was awarded to Dr KB Gupta. International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union) gave an update on Call to TB Free India launched in April 2015. This TB Free India campaign aims to unite existing and new stakeholders in the fight against TB and bring together our knowledge, resources and capacity to better equip us to beat TB, said representatives of The Union. President-elect of Indian Chest Society Prof Surya Kant said: Since the implementation of RNTCP, India has made more wins in its fight against TB: Services for drug-resistant TB and TB-HIV collaborative care have been scaled up and made available across the country; 70,000 MDR-TB patients and 2000 XDR-TB patients have been put on the standard treatment; Standards of TB Care in India have been developed, aligning diagnostic and treatment practices across all stakeholders; NIKSHAY – a real time case based, web-based TB surveillance system has been rolled out; the first ever and largest national drug resistance survey is already underway, among other things in India.

(About the author: Dr Raghav Gattani, MBBS, Junior Consultant at Avadh Hospital and Heart Center is also the honorary Medical Correspondent for CNS - Citizen News Service)
February 21, 2016