Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Monday that the government aims to make country TB-free (tuberculousis) by 2025. According to data provided by the Union health ministry in Lok Sabha in the last week, India reported 1.8 million TB cases between January and December 2020 as compared to 2.4 million the year before.
Mansukh Mandaviya said, “Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, definition of health has been comprehensive. “In coming days, India will achieve its target of making health sector more robust,” he added.
Apart from him Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla also said time has come to end deadly diseases in this country. “We need to make collective efforts to win against TB, poverty and malnutrition are two main reasons for TB,” he added saying elected representatives need to ensure steps for the eradication of the disease.
According to Centre’s report, There was nearly a 25% reduction in the number of tuberculosis (TB) cases reported in 2020 as compared to the previous year, which experts believe was mainly due to Covid-19-related lockdowns and other restrictions that kept people away from healthcare facilities.
While India’s first Covid-19 case was reported in January-end in 2020, the infection started spreading only in March that year. A nationwide lockdown was implemented on March 24 to curb the spread of the virus.
Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) is the mainstay of the TB programme where medicines are given under the supervision of a healthcare worker at the health centre. However, during the pandemic, patients were given medicines for one month together to help them continue with their treatment and teleconsultations were held to ensure compliance.
Experts fear that the undiagnosed cases of TB could facilitate the spread of the infection, but wearing of masks by a majority of the population might have an unintended but pleasant impact.