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India to Implement National Action Plan against TB-HIV

India under the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) aims at widening the scope for providing standardized//, good quality treatment and diagnostic services to all tuberculosis patients. It is known that about 50 - 60 % of HIV-positive people are more prone to contracting tuberculosis. Hence the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss plan to tackle this issue and multi-drug resistant cases. He said this after releasing the RNTCP Status Report for India, 2006. He said that various measures are taken to tackle TB-HIV.

In the first phase, the six high-HIV prevalent States of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Manipur and Nagaland were identified for implementation. The services are being provided for HIV-infected TB patients by involving Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centres and the RNTCP Designated Microscopy Centres and non-governmental organizations. The Ministry is conducting community-based surveys among new and re-treatment cases in Gujarat and Maharashtra to estimate the number of people who have become resistant for drugs.

Other states will also be strictly monitored to help the Government by observing the trends in resistance. According to the statistics drug resistance in new cases is less than 3% and in old cases it is about 10 %. Reports and data say that about 1.8 million people in India develop tuberculosis every year and nearly 3,70,000 die from it. The disease has devastating social costs. About 3 lakh children are forced to leave school because their parents have TB, and more than 1 lakh women with TB are rejected by their families every year.

Due to the strict surveillance the detection rate has crossed 70 % and the death rates have come down to 4 % from 29 %. The treatment success rate has risen from 25 % to 86 % due to this programme being extended to almost all the states. In the report the minister read out the data that RNTCP in 1992 has treated 5.45 million patie nts saving nearly 9.8 lakh lives. Mr. Ramadoss also pointed out that World Health Organization Report 2005 also appreciated the Indian programme against the disease.


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