Why in news?
=>In an effort to meet its ambitious target to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) by 2025; five years ahead of the target fixed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has directed all States to expand TB diagnostics services to all primary health centres (PHCs) level by December. The national TB programme also envisages expansion of the service at that level.
What is the current procedure & how it will better help in detecting TB cases?
=>As of now, TB diagnosis under (Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme) RNTCP is done primarily using sputum smear microscopy in more than 14,000 Designated Microscopy Centres (DMCs) spread across the country.
=>While at least 25,650 PHCs have been established in the country (as on March 31, 2017), most don’t offer this service. The samples from such PHCs are sent to the nearest facility that has a DMC. Because of this, there might be a significant loss of presumptive TB cases.
=>Establishing microscopy centres will prevent sample loss owing to lack of referral links for sputum examination, thus leading to improved case detection. All States have been directed to map the non-DMC PHCs and designate all PHCs, including those in urban areas, as microscopy centres.
=>In PHCs where a laboratory technician is already available, microscopes should be provided and, if required, the technician trained. In PHCs that do not have laboratory technicians, recruitment should be expedited, and microscopes and training provided subsequently.
TB burden in India:
=>India has an estimated 27 lakh TB patients, of which only 13 lakh have been captured in government data.
=>According to the Global TB Report of 2017, the estimated incidence of TB in India is 28 lakh — about a quarter of the world’s TB cases. In 2017, India re-estimated its national figures, incorporating information from a wide range of sources and making it more accurate than previous estimates.
Case of Karnataka:
=>Karnataka is all set to start mapping of all its PHCs. Karnataka has 748 Designated Microscopy Centres and 2,325 PHCs.
=>While 310 DMCs are in PHCs, 56 are in medical colleges, 20 in district hospitals, 10 in major government hospitals, 146 in taluk hospitals, and 206 in community health centres.
=>In 2017-2018, the number of new TB cases notified in Karnataka stood at 80,000, and treatment was initiated within 15 days in 90% of the cases. From January to June in 2018, around 45,000 cases were notified, and treatment initiated within 15 days in 80% of the cases.
Pic courtesy:The Hindu
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