The World Health Organization (WHO) Global TB Report 2023 sheds light on India’s progress in tuberculosis (TB) control. TB, an infectious disease primarily affecting the lungs, is preventable and often curable when addressed promptly. Caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, it can target various body parts, including the kidneys, spine, and brain, with not everyone infected falling ill.
India’s dedication to tackling TB reflects a significant leap, as outlined in the WHO report. Case detection has seen a remarkable boost, with treatment coverage now reaching 80 percent of estimated TB cases—an impressive 19 percent surge from the previous year. In a promising trend, tuberculosis incidence in India has dropped by 16 percent in 2022 compared to 2015, surpassing the global decline rate of 8.7 percent. The reduction in TB mortality rates by 18 percent, both in India and globally, further underscores the positive impact of India’s initiatives.
The report highlights India’s proactive strategies, such as intensive case detection efforts resulting in a record-high notification of cases in 2022. Over 24.22 lakh TB cases were reported, surpassing pre-COVID levels. Government initiatives, including active case-finding drives, molecular diagnostics, and private-sector engagement, have played a pivotal role in identifying and addressing missing cases.
The Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan has garnered substantial support, with more than 1 lakh Ni-kshay Mitras adopting over 11 lakh TB patients. Financial backing through Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana has amounted to Rs 2613 crore for over 95 lakh TB patients since its launch in 2018. Patient-centric approaches like the Family Care Giver Model and Differentiated Care aim to further reduce mortality and enhance treatment success rates.
India’s commitment to TB elimination is evident through the allocation of additional resources to the National TB Elimination Programme under the National Health Mission. This showcases a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach in the ongoing battle against TB.