New Delhi | Tuberculosis is a time bomb ready to explode, but the government is taking steps to address the issue by changing the method of treatment to daily regimen starting with 104 selected districts, a top health ministry official today said. Access to quality treatment and reducing the incidents of TB and especially MDR-TB are areas that need to be addressed urgently, Health Secretary C K Mishra has said.
The government is working towards this by changing the treatment method to daily regimen starting in 104 districts in Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Kerala and Bihar and will later be provided all over the country, he said at a consultation organised jointly by health ministry, USAID and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.
TB is a time bomb that is ticking and ready to explode, he said at the event attended by parliamentarians from Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telengana, Uttrakhand and West Bengal.
Every year 2.2 million people develop TB in India while one in every four TB patients in the world is from India, according to a statement issued by the ministry. Many people who have TB do not know they are suffering from the disease.
The parliamentarians have a major role to play in the fight against TB, as they can reach out to people in their constituencies. United efforts in HIV prevention have reduced incidences and similar action is needed to win the battle against this age-old disease with greater speed, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien was quoted as saying in the statement.
Rajya Sabha MP Viplove Thakur said given the high rate of TB in India, the role of parliamentarians become particularly important and as policy-makers, the MPs are willing to engage on the issue to push for effective policy decisions.