Chennai: After the recent ENDTB Summit held on World Tuberculosis Day to strengthen the focus to end Tuberculosis (TB) by 2030 as per the recommendations by the World Health Organisation, state health department launched the shorter regimen of nine-month for the treatment of Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB on Tuesday.
As against the usual TB treatment for six months of first-line medication, multi-drug resistant TB medication is carried out for 18-24 months as they develop resistance against the antibiotics used to treat the infection.
“Rifampicin, also known as rifampin and isoniasid is usually used for the treatment of TB, however, second line medication for MDR TB patients involves a combination of seven drugs for the treatment, which usually continues for around two years,” said Dr Ranjith Veeramani Thangavelu, a senior pulmonologist at the Government TB hospital.
The new short regimen with seven drugs is for a duration of nine-twelve months to treat multi-drug resistant TB aims to reduce the length of conventional MDR-TB regimens and to use a combination of tolerable drugs for its treatment, added Dr Ranjith.
With the high burden of MDR TB in the world, around one lakh new cases are being registered for the disease every year in India. A recent report by the medical journal Lancet said that the prevalence of TB in the country is likely to worsen as MDR-TB is expected to become more common. The report says that by 2040, the percentage of MDR-TB will make up for 12.4 percent of all the TB cases in India.
At the recent ENDTB Summit on World Tuberculosis Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the state governments to intensify measures to eliminate TB from the country by 2025, ahead of the global target of TB elimination by 2030.
The state health department aims to eliminate TB from the state by 2022, as announced by health minister C. Vijayabaskar earlier this year. “We aim to eradicate TB from the state and have intensified early detection programmes for the same. A door-to-door detection programme was undertaken in Kancheepuram district by mobile units using x-ray scans and sputum tests. The patients detected to have TB were provided medications and will be on follow-up treatment,” said health minister C. Vijayabaskar.
The minister also urged the public to consult doctors and undertake tests for TB in case of symptoms such as cold, cough, and evening fever, blood in mucus for more than two weeks.
The state health department also launched mobile medical vehicles for active TB case detection in the city. Few medical mobile units of the newly introduced diagnostic machine- ‘Cartridge-Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test Lab’ (CBNAAT) was launched last month.
The vehicles equipped with CBNAAT would conduct free medical checkups in all districts of the state that will include the identification of TB patients followed by intensified medication diagnose patients suffering from tuberculosis....