World Tuberculosis Day: Prevention, Management and Treatment of TB

New Delhi, March 23, 2017: Every year March 24, is marked as World Tuberculosis Day, to spread awareness and educate people about the prevention and management of tuberculosis (TB). The Day also highlights the success and progress achieved till date in curbing TB.

India has the highest TB burden in the world. According to WHO statistics (2014), globally 9 million people are diagnosed with TB out of which 2.2 million cases are reported from India. Around 40% of the Indian population is infected with TB bacteria, and among these TB patients cases of latent TB are significantly higher than active TB cases. Each year 12 lakh Indians are newly diagnosed with TB out of which at least 2.7 lakh Indians die. TB can affect any age, caste or race but poor people and mostly men are at increased risk of TB. Slum dwellers, tribal populations, prisoners and individuals with compromised immune systems are more likely to develop TB, compared to general population. The economic and social burden associated with TB is extremely high in India. It was observed that between 2006 and 2014, TB cost the Indian economy a massive loss of USD 340 billion.

Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement said that, “Because of lack of awareness, large number of TB cases either go undiagnosed, or if diagnosed, are not treated properly, or treated but not registered to Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP). Tuberculosis is a notifiable disease. IMA is determined to educate its 2.5 lakh members as well as the Indian population about the importance of timely diagnosis, prevention, management and rehabilitation of TB. IMA is determined to bring each and everyone together to help raise a common voice against the growing incidence of TB in our country and hope that we will fulfil the aim of Swachh, Swasth and TB Mukt Bharat.”


“Tuberculosis is an extremely contagious disease that is transmitted from one person to another through droplet nuclei, which are less than 5 microns in size. These droplet nuclei can remain suspended in the air for long periods, and thus are a source of exposure to susceptible individuals from the throat and lungs of patients with active respiratory disease. The causative agent of TB is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. The common symptoms of active TB of the lung includes: cough, blood in sputum, chest pain, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats. Tuberculosis is a curable disease,” added Dr K K Aggarwal.

Some points of importance about TB

• Cough of more than 2 weeks, must not be ignored.
• Diagnosis and management of TB cases should be done as per the IMA Standards for TB Care in India.
• Serological tests for diagnosis of TB are banned in India.
• MDR or multidrug drug resistant TB should be treated for at least 24 months.
• Proper counseling of all TB patients on cough hygiene, nutrition & treatment adherence must be done.

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