New Delhi: Health and Family Welfare Ministry has said that over 22 crore people have been screened for early detection and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) in the last year which has significantly contributed to the decline in TB incidence.
On the release of WHO Global TB Report 2022, the Health Ministry said, India has performed far better on major metrics as compared to other countries over time. It said, India has registered an 18 percent decline in TB incidence in the last seven year which is better than the global average of 11 percent. It said, the country’s TB incidence for the year 2021 was 210 per lakh population. The TB incidence was 256 per lakh population in 2015.
The Health Ministry said, several steps have been taken for the screening, early detection of TB cases and ramping up the diagnostic capability to strengthen detection efforts in the country. It said, indigenously-developed molecular diagnostics have helped in expanding the reach of diagnosis to every part of the country. India has over 4 thousand 760 molecular diagnostic machines across the country. The Ministry said, India successfully neutralized the disruptions posed to TB programmes caused by COVID-19 pandemic. The WHO report also notes the crucial role of nutrition and under-nutrition as a contributory factor to the development of active TB disease. In this regard, the Ministry said, the TB Programme’s nutrition support scheme – Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana – has proved critical for the vulnerable. It said, cash transfers of 670 crores rupees were made to TB patients through Direct Benefit Transfer programme during 2020-2021. In September this year, the President had launched Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan to provide additional nutritional support to TB patients. Under this programme, more than 40 thousand donors have come forward to support over 10 lakh 45 thousand patients across the country so far.