Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the government is striving hard to make the country TB free by 2025.
He said a campaign is going to be launched on community support for better treatment and cure for TB patients in a few days.
The campaign intends to reach out to cooperative societies, NGOs, corporates, elected representatives, political parties, individuals and partners.
What is TB?
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB is an ancient disease and has been documented to have existed in Egypt as early as 3000 BC.
TB most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB), but it can also affect other organs (extra-pulmonary TB).
TB spreads through the air when a person with TB of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, or talks.
Common symptoms of TB are: Cough for three weeks or more, sometimes with blood-streaked sputum; Fever, especially at night; Weight loss and Loss of appetite.
Who is at risk?
Over 95% of cases and deaths are in developing countries.
People infected with TB bacteria have a 5–10% lifetime risk of falling ill with TB. Those with compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes, or people who use tobacco, have a higher risk of falling ill.
However, TB is curable and preventable.
Treatment for TB
Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) is the strategy followed for treatment of TB. Tuberculosis treatment requires at least 6 months of treatment.
Currently, BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) is the only licensed vaccine available for the prevention of TB.
BCG works well in certain places but not so well in others. Generally, the farther a country is from the equator, the higher is the efficacy.
However, BCG gives excellent protection against severe forms of tuberculosis in children.