India’s Fight Against Tuberculosis (TB) 

GS-2 Mains : Health

Short Notes or Micro Notes 

What is Tuberculosis (TB)?

  • Infectious disease affecting lungs, caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis).
  • Spreads through coughs, sneezes, or spits.
  • Two forms: latent TB (inactive) and active TB disease.
  • Symptoms: prolonged cough (sometimes bloody), chest pain, weakness, weight loss, fever, night sweats.
  • Treatable and preventable with antibiotics and the BCG vaccine (moderate protection).

India’s Burden:

  • 27% of global TB cases – highest country-wise burden.
  • Aim: Eliminate TB by 2025 (aligns with UN SDGs).


  • Drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB): harder to treat, requires expensive drugs and longer treatment.
  • Diagnosis and Case Detection: limited access to modern tools in some areas.
  • Poor Healthcare Infrastructure: limited access in rural/remote areas delays diagnosis and treatment.
  • Stigma and Awareness: stigma discourages seeking healthcare, lack of awareness allows persistence.
  • Private Sector Engagement: coordination needed for standardized treatment protocols.
  • Treatment Adherence: completing the prolonged course of antibiotics is challenging.
  • Vulnerable Populations: migrant workers, slum dwellers, and those in crowded conditions are at higher risk.

Government Initiatives:

    • Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) (1997): flagship program for TB control, continuously strengthened.
    • National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP) with a National Strategic Plan (2017-25) to eliminate TB by 2025.
  • Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan (PMTBMBA) (2022): community support for TB patients (nutrition, diagnosis, vocational).
  • Universal Drug Susceptibility Testing (DST): identifying drug-resistant strains early for tailored treatment.
  • Ni-kshay portal: online portal to track notified TB cases.
  • New Drugs: Bedaquiline and Delamanid for MDR-TB treatment included in free drug programs.
  • R&D for Treatment: exploring shorter treatment courses (3-4 months) instead of the current 6-month regimen.
  • Vaccine Development: trials for Immuvac (leprosy vaccine) and VPM1002 (modified BCG vaccine) for TB prevention.


  • Setting and promoting standards for TB prevention and care.
  • Developing evidence-based policy options for TB prevention and care.
  • Monitoring progress in financing and implementing the response at all levels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *