Government has committed to end TB by 2030: 70th NATCON calls to accelerate progress at right pace

[हिन्दी] Government of India along with other governments had committed in UN General Assembly to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, one of which (SDG 3.3) is to end TB by 2030. Chest physicians from across the country and globally who are attending 70th National Conference of TB and Chest Diseases (70th NATCON) which was inaugurated by UP State Governor Shri Ram Naik, called upon ensuring that the decline in TB rates are steep enough to achieve the end TB target by or before 2030.
70th NATCON is being organized by TB Association of India, Respiratory Medicine Department of King (Dr) Surya Kant, Head of Respiratory Medicine Department of KGMU and Organizing Secretary of 70th NATCON said: "We have cured almost 2 crore [20 million] patients from TB and 32 lakhs [3.2 million] lives have been saved – this is not a small achievement by any account. But if we look at the task which is still unfinished that is also extremely significant. We still have almost 10 lakhs [1 million] patients who are yet not under our fold. A very close monitoring is required – not just of the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) but also of the private sector to ensure that TB cases are being diagnosed and treated as per the standards of TB care and guidelines."

The emphasis is upon early case detection, community involvement to ensure treatment completion, and prophylaxis for treatment of latent TB. We need to get all the possible best levels of standards of care for all TB patients which includes: rapid accurate diagnosis, doing what is needed to treat, and support every single person who is affected by tuberculosis in this country, and globally. Not only every presumptive case of TB needs accurate and early diagnosis, but also drug susceptibility testing (DST) needs to be done without delay. DST provides critical information about a particular patient's resistance or sensitivity towards specific anti-TB drugs. Every patient needs a combination of effective sensitive drugs as per the Standards of TB Care and other treatment guidelines.

Already lot of work has been done. We have scaled up laboratories to do liquid culture, gene sequencing, etc to 62 in 2015 - we aim to have 120 laboratories by 2019. This is backed up by a good procurement plan for supplies and drugs. TB-HIV collaborative activities are decade old in India. TB-diabetes collaborative activities have been ongoing since 2-3 years and have been scaled up further. We are also looking at smoking cessation for TB patients and other synergies between different health and development programmes.

(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 20, 2016