notification as compared to the year 2018.
Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh, along with Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, has emerged as one of the top-performing states in eliminating tuberculosis, according to the annual tuberculosis report 2020. The report was released by Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the Union minister for health and family welfare, on 24 June through a virtual event.
For the first time, the Central TB Division (CTD) has introduced a quarterly ranking for TB elimination efforts of all states and Union territories (UTs). Among the larger states with more than 50 lakh population, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh were awarded the best-performing states.
According to the report, around 24.04 lakh TB patients have been notified in 2019, a 14 per cent increase in TB notification from 2018. Meanwhile, the number of missing TB cases has reduced to 2.9 lakh cases. Also, HIV testing for all notified TB patients has increased to 81 per cent from 67 per cent in 2018.
“Expansion of treatment services has resulted in a 12 per cent improvement in the treatment success rate of notified patients. For 2019 , it was 81 per cent compared to 69 per cent in 2018,” the report said, adding that due to easy availability of molecular diagnostics, the proportion of children diagnosed with TB increased to eight per cent in 2019 compared to six per cent in 2018.
Among smaller states with less than 50 lakh population, Tripura and Nagaland fared well, while among Union territories, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu were the best performers.
Releasing the annual TB report, Dr. Harsh Vardhan commended the collective efforts of all who were involved in the task. “The Union government is committed to achieving the SDG goal of eliminating TB in the country by 2025, five years ahead of the global target. To align with the ambitious goal, the programme has been renamed from Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) to National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP)," he said.
“As seen in the annual report, there has been commendable achievement on various parameters of TB control in the country. The ranking will surely encourage all states and UTs to improve their performance to attain their targets. Early accurate diagnosis followed by prompt appropriate treatment is vital to end TB. The NTEP has expanded both the laboratory network as well as diagnostic facilities to cover the entire country. To end TB by 2025, the expansion of TB services and addressing determinants of TB that are beyond health through a multi-sector approach is necessary. All these efforts are yielding significant results,” the minister said.
Highlighting the crucial aspect of stigma against TB patients in the country, which is hampering the fight against this disease, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “We as a nation, need to come together, to fight against TB and the stigma surrounding it so that every TB patient can seek care with dignity and without discrimination. The community must act as a wellspring of support and comfort for the patient.”
Meanwhile, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, the minister of state for health and family welfare, said, “The government has already incorporated a community-based response for TB as one of the key strategies to reach the unreached and to support TB patients in the course of their illness. Towards this end, over 700 TB forums have been established at the state/UT and district level involving all stakeholders. These forums will provide a multi-sectoral and community-led response to addressing the challenge of TB.”