Out of Step 2017: TB policies in 29 countries

The latest global report on tuberculosis has criticised India’s control plans, even as the Union Health Minister has said that TB will be eliminated from the country by 2025. The Out of Step 2017 report published by Stop TB Partnership reviewed TB policies and practices in 29 countries which account for 82 per cent of the TB burden – India being the highest contributor. India was rated on the following parameters: TB diagnosis, TB Treatment, Models of Care, Medicines Regulatory Environment, and was mostly found to be ‘inadequate’ in fulfilling global level expectations. The report states that while 15 countries have introduced the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended test, Xpert MTB/RIF, as the initial test, India has not. It is selectively available for high-risk patients, it says. The test is crucial in detecting drug-resistance in patients. Once resistance is detected, better treatment is available, and patients will not be put on drugs which could anyway prove to be futile.

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