From Editor’s Desk – Dr. Sabir
Tuberculosis is a chronic debilitating disease, if timely not detected and not treated adequately it can cause incapacitation, decrease in earning capacity and ultimately patient become burden on the family. It is highly prevalent in our country.
India is the highest tuberculosis (TB)-burdened country in the world, accounting for about a quarter of all incident cases and TB deaths. According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics for year 2011, out of 9.6 million cases of TB around the world, 2.2 million cases were estimated to be present in India. In India, each year, approx. 220, 000 deaths are reported due to Tuberculosis. Above all, the worst part of the problem is that every year more than one million TB patients remains undetected and many of them are spreading disease, further increasing TB burden in India.
The disease is caused by the bacteria – Mycobacterium Tuberculii or Tubercle bacilli. These bacteria can survive for long duration in odd circumstances. TB can affect any organ in the human body but lungs are most commonly affected. Most patients suffering from lung TB are exhaling Tubercle bacilli with their breath and sputum, and can infect people coming in close contact to to them.
Fortunately we have very effective drugs to treat this disease. Government of India with the help of WHO has launched DOTS as part of National Tuberculosis Control Program in phases as a pilot project from
1993 to 1996. Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) was formally launched in 1997 and expanded in a phased manner to all the districts in the country by 2006. It has been estimated that from 1997 to 2016, India’s RNTCP has saved about 7.75 million lives directly by treating active patients of TB , and indirectly by preventing its spread.
For effective control of TB it is relevant to increase awareness about all aspects of the disease amongst public, health-care provider (government & private sector), policy makers, press & media. This edition of ‘Public Forum” is part of our humble efforts in this direction. Prof. Suryakant has given valuable information in his scholarly article.
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