RNTCP has averted over 2.2 million deaths in India: Official

Hyderabad, Jan 25 (PTI) The Revised National TuberculosisControl Programme (RNTCP) has been able to avert over 2.2million deaths in the country till date, an official of theCentral TB Division said today.

RNTCP - the world largest TB control programme run byDirector General of Health Services, Ministry of Health andFamily Welfare, has resulted in saving over 22 lakh additionallives who would have otherwise died if this programme had notbeen implemented, Central TB Division Deputy Programme ManagerDr K S Sachdeva told reporters here.

Since its inception in 1997, 45 million TB suspects wereexamined and over 12.6 million patients were on the treatmentand thus more than 2.2 million additional lives were saved, hesaid adding, "The TB mortality rate in the country has reducedfrom over 42 per lakh population in 1990 to 24 per lakhpopulation in 2009 after RNTCP was launched."

Though, out of the global annual TB incidence of 9.4million, India contributed maximum patients with two million,which was an area of concern, Sachdeva said.

However, the RNTCP has shown considerable success in thelast decade and achieved a new sputum positive case detectionrate of more than 73 per cent last year and a treatmentsuccess rate of more than 87 per cent against global benchmarkof 70 per cent and 85 per cent respectively, he said. (MORE)PTI VVKVKV

Having achieved the global objectives of case-detection and treatment success rate for last three consecutive years,the programme has set for itself an ambitious target ofuniversal access to quality TB care for all TB patients,Sachdeva said.

By 2015, RNTCP aims for early detection of at least 90per cent of all TB patients in the community, including HIVassociated TB and to treat 90 per cent of such patientssuccessfully, he said.

The multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) which has emerged asa challenge is a man-made phenomenon caused by irregular orinadequate treatment, Sachdeva said adding "Irrationaltreatment by the private sector was causing MDR-TB."

He said the best way to prevent emergence of MDR-TB wasby implementing ''Directly Observed Treatment(DOTS)-Plusservice''.

Under RNTCP, 19 accredited Culture and Drug SensitivityTesting (DST) laboratories have been set up with the target ofestablishing 43 such laboratories across the country by 2013.

"All this 43 laboratories will also offer new molecularbased diagnostic tests (Line Probe Assay) which can diagnoseMDR-TB within 48 hours as compared to 6-12 weeks withconventional tests currently available," he added.

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