THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 7 September 2018(Ending TB)

Ending TB 

Mains Paper: 2 | Health 
Prelims level: Tuberculosis (TB)
Mains level: Tuberculosis cannot be eliminated without universal access to affordable, quality diagnostics and drugs. 


  • On September 26, the UN General Assembly will, for the first time, address TB in a High-Level Meeting and likely release a Political Declaration, endorsed by all member nations, to galvanise investment and action to meet the global target of eliminating TB worldwide by 2035.
  • Elimination, which means reducing the number to one case per million people per year, will be impossible without universal, equitable access to affordable, quality TB diagnostics and treatment for anyone who needs it. 
  • It is much to the disappointment of global civil society, issues around access to diagnostics and drugs have been considerably diluted in the most recent draft of the Political Declaration.

Observation of the political declaration

  • A critical omission is that countries may avail of the various flexibilities under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights; 
  • The countries may invoke the Doha Declaration to compulsorily license drugs for use in public health emergencies. 
  • The option is to de-link the pricing of new TB drugs from the costs incurred in their research and development. 
  • The latest draft is a watered-down version of the original that actively committed to upholding access to affordable generics for all.

From India’s angle

  • India has fought to retain its status as a maker and distributor of generic medicines, thereby protecting the right to health of people in developing countries.
  • Indian patent law contains important provisions that help protect and promote public health goals.

Way forward  

  • TB is, by and large, easily diagnosable and curable. 
  • It is unacceptable that it nevertheless remains the leading causes of death from any single infectious agent worldwide.
  • Each day, thousands of people with TB die, often because of inequitable access to quality diagnosis and treatment.
  • The rapid emergence of drug-resistant forms of TB (DR-TB) in many countries brings a fresh set of needs including new and comprehensive diagnostic tests and second-line TB drugs, and health systems trained anew to

Manage DR-TB.

  • India not only accounts for a fifth of the world’s TB burden, it also has the largest number of people living with multidrug-resistant TB.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India would eliminate TB by 2025, ahead of the global targets. 
  • But these targets cannot be achieved without access to affordable, quality diagnostics/ drugs. 

UPSC Prelims Questions: 

Q.1) Lifestyle diseases are associated with the way a person or group of people lives. Which of the following is/are example/s of such diseases?
1. Cirrhosis
2. Malaria
3. Swimmer’s ear
4. TB
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a) 1 and 2 only
b) 1 and 3 only
c) 2 and 3 only
d) 1 and 4 only
b) 1 and 3 only.

Explanation : Malaria and TB are not lifestyle disease. Swimmer’s ear is inflammation, irritation, or infection of the outer ear and ear canal. Buzzing or ringing ears, or difficulty in understanding speech patterns are its symptoms. Swimmer’s ears results due to loud music and constant use of headphones. Cirrhosis refers to a group of liver disorders. Heavy alcohol consumption can cause it.

UPSC Mains Questions:
Q.1)  How India can eradicate the tuberculosis?

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