Accurate diagnosis, affordable treatment crucial to fight Tuberculosis

Bengaluru: Fortis Hospitals in association with Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted ‘Tuberculosis Symposium’ on Thursday.

The event was aimed to support government’s vision for a Tuberculosis (TB) Free India. “TB Free India campaign aims to ensure access to accurate diagnosis, affordable treatment, and support to each TB patient. Kill the killer,” said Dr Shripad Patil, Director, ICMR-NGIL&OMD, Agra.

The symposium also included a panel discussion and focussed on various aspects of TB and highlighted ways to eradicate it.

Senior doctors from Fortis Hospitals, doctors from the National Tuberculosis Institute, ESIMC, and members of State TB Cell participated in the conference.

The panel discussed about the Global & Indian Scenario, Diagnosis of TB, EPTB (Extra Pulmonary Tuberculosis), Treatment of TB, Role of Private Sector in Elimination of TB and Programmatic Management of Drug-Resistant TB during the symposium.

According to the World Health Organisation, India reported the world's highest number of TB cases. Of these, at least half are treated in the private sector and their diagnoses and treatment are not noted in the government records. A recent study also revealed that there is an increase in active TB cases, with Karnataka alone reporting 68,000 cases last year.

Dr Shalini Joshi, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine Fortis Hospital, said, “The symposium brought all the private and public stakeholders at one platform to help each other work towards the same goal. We are optimistic that through our joint efforts, we will be able to provide our best to the patients.”

In an attempt to eliminate tuberculosis in India, Union Budget 2018 allocated Rs 600 crore for nutritional support to TB patients in India. This allocation, with an addition to Rs 1,200 crore set aside as patient social and nutritional support under the national strategic plan for tuberculosis budget (2017-2020) is expected to decrease the fall-out of patients from treatment due to lack of nutritional support. 

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