On the World Tuberculosis Day, Union Health Minister JP Nadda launched Bedaquline a new drug that treats multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. The drug has been developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a pharma firm of Johnson & Johnson, the US based healthcare firm.
World Health Organisation (WHO) has described Bedaquline as a drug that has a novel mechanism of action for treating multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. WHO has also issued interim guidelines as to how to use the drug.
Health Ministry has said that Bedaquline will be introduced in 104 districts across five states of India for the treatment of new drug resistant tuberculosis patients.
For India this drug is a boon as it reports one-fourth of all tuberculosis cases reported worldwide.
WHO has set an ambitious target of reducing the incidence of TB by 50% and TB related deaths by 75% by the year 2025 and for India it is going to be a daunting task looking at the very high number of TB patients.
Mr. JP Nadda while launching the drug said that the goal of 'End TB' can be achieved. He stressed that compassion is needed for treatment of TB patients.
Mr. Nadda informed that, "There are 4 lakh DOTS centres across the country for diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis patients."
He added that we need to innovate and introduce new technologies and techniques to combat TB. Mr. Nadda also formally launched induction of additional 500 CBNAAT machines and third line drugs for HIV.
Mr. Nadda concluded by saying that,
"Today we launched guidelines for surveillance of TB infection in TB Healthcare Workers also. I urge all stakeholders to come and join hands with us to eradicate TB completely from India."