Hyderabad, Feb 2 (PTI) The Revised National TuberculosisControl Programme (RNTCP) run by the Union Health Ministry hasinitiated more than 12.6 million TB patients on treatment tilldate, averting 2.2 million deaths, according to a report.
The RNTCP, the world''s largest TB control programmeshas achieved a new sputum positive case detection rate of morethan 73 per cent in 2010 and a treatment success rate of morethan 87 per cent against global benchmark of 70 per cent and85 per cent respectively, the Directorate General of HealthServices said in a report.The WHO-recommended treatment for TB called DOTS(Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course) is now beingoffered to more than 1,25,000 patients each month, which islargest in the world in terms of patients initiated ontreatment, it said.
Giving details about the success of the RNTCP, Dr K SSachdeva, Deputy Program Manager, Central TB Division said,"TB is an infectious disease and it is very important todetect it in the early stages and provide complete treatment.
It is seen that most patients do not fell the need to continuethe treatment as they feel better is one or two months."
"However, with the focused communication strategy of theprogram, emphasising for adherence to treatment and keepingdefault rate to the minimum with the help of community DOTSprovider, majority of the patients enrolled under the programcomplete their treatment," he said.
Having achieved the global objectives of case detectionand treatment success rate for last three consecutive years,the program (RNTCP) has set for itself an ambitious target ofuniversal access to quality care for all TB patients fromwhichever health care provider they choose to seek care.
This calls for reaching out the unreached andfostering an active involvement of private care providers,non-governmental organisations and empowering community todemand for quality anti-TB services. .
Newer challenges like Multi-Drug Resistance (MDR) TB and TB-HIV co-infection have the potential to reverse the gainsmade by the program in the last decade.
Conscious of these challenges, the program startedaddressing these newer challenges in the early stages ofprogram implementation. The intensified TB-HIV package wererolled out up by the program in the year 2000 and the entirecountry is now implementing TB-HIV collaborative services, thereport said.
Currently, Andhra Pradesh has around 80 per cent of TBpatients who know their HIV status around the time ofregistration for TB treatment.(This is one of the highestpercentage among all the states of India.)Around 8 per cent of the clients that visit the ICTCs(integrated HIV counselling and testing centres) are beingidentified as TB suspects and referred for TB diagnosis toRNTCP. Close to 14 per cent of the HIV negative suspects areactually identified as TB cases and 9 per cent of the HIVpositive cases referred as suspects were diagnosed as TBcases. This is a very appreciable yield among suspects as perthe national records, it said.
India has one of the most ambitious plans to scale uptreatment of MDR TB compared to any other country in theworld. By 2013, the program intends to place at least 30,000patients of MDR TB on treatment annually.
The MDR TB diagnosis is a laboratory based diagnosis froman RNTCP accredited Culture & Drug Susceptibility Testing(C&DST) lab and to diagnose it intends that number oflaboratory capacity of the states are being strengthened. Theprogram has committed to create facilities in 43 culture andDST laboratories for diagnosis of MDR TB by 2013.All these 43 laboratories will also offer the newermolecular based diagnostic tests (Line Probe Assay) which candiagnose MDR TB within 48 hours as compared to 6-12 weeks withconventional tests currently available.