Monday, October 2

The TB issue in India and the right to treatment.

The BPaLM/BPalM regimen was recommended by WHO for DR-TB patients in December 2022, with a 99% success rate, reduced pill usage to three to four pills daily, and decreased treatment time.

The urgent need for us to address the issue of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is evident, and India’s response can influence how other nations handle it. The WHO estimates that India has 119,000 new cases of multidrug/rifampicin resistant TB each year, but the Indian BI program has only reported 64,000 MDR/RR-T case cases in 2022, leaving our country with a serious problem.

Fortunately, there is renewed hope for those with DR-TB. Diagnosis has greatly improved. Rapid molecular diagnostics can now quickly detect both TB and drug-resistance. These tests were extensively used for Covid-19 during the pandemic.

The WHO’s Standard on Universal Access to Rapid TB Diagnostics recommends the use of molecular diagnostics as the first test, citing their accuracy, drug resistance, affordability, and potential decrease in treatment delays. However, only 23% of patients with bacterial infection were evaluated using these tests in India last year. Microscopy is not effective against antibiotic resistance and only detects half of all people with these types of tests.

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