Political commitment against tuberculosis in India hopes for experts


New Delhi, March 24 (EFE) – India registered a quarter of the 10 million cases of tuberculosis on the planet in 2017, a disease against which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to give hope to experts, although she is concerned about the lack of concrete plans and focus in the private sector.

Today is the World Tuberculosis Day to remember that infectious disease is killed more than any other on the entire planet, and a reduction in the number of cases in India will be a major advance, explained Efe's scientific director. International Association Against Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases, Paula Fujiwara.

"I think that India has the means to do this, it is a political issue, if the prime minister of the state, no matter what it says, is important, then it can be done," Efe said.

Therefore, the commitment Modi last year adopted to eliminate tuberculosis in the Asian country before 2025, according to the expert, is encouraging.

It seems that this time the promise is accompanied by facts: India spent between 2016 and 2018 public funds for this disease, from about $ 100 million to 458, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) data. .

Also abroad, tuberculosis in India is associated with social stigmatization, which contributes to factors such as lack of hygiene and malnutrition that make it difficult to treat.

Fujiwara warned that today AIDS patients, which in many cases are linked to tuberculosis, are more likely to take up their illness.

"There are people with AIDS who say they are good, I have AIDS and I live with a disease, but with tuberculosis it's not like that (…) I have a patient who has both, you can say yes, I have aids." No. "

In the fight against stigma, the Union trains volunteers from disadvantaged communities to visit barrack cities and remote areas without access to health services that seek infected people.

"We go to these areas, the house for the house," explained project leader Subrat Mohanty Efe.

The network covers some 30 million people in a country with an uncertain system of access to healthcare, which, according to the World Bank data, spent 1.4% of gross domestic product in the health system in 2014. for relatively poorer neighbors, such as Bangladesh.

The idea is also to control the treatment, he assured, as one of the big employers in the fight against tuberculosis, that the patients leave the treatment for six months to a few weeks to feel healed.

India has almost one quarter of all cases of tuberculosis, called "multiretropical", which does not respond to conventional treatment.

But experts are still careful about the progress against tuberculosis in India, despite the hope that the Modi political commitment has brought about.

The Commission, comprised of 37 experts from 13 countries, created by the medical magazine The Lancet, in which Fujiwara participated, called on India to develop a "clear plan describing how the government will meet its requirements" in a report published last Wednesday.

"We welcome India's commitment to eliminate tuberculosis by 2015, but we believe more attention should be paid to primary healthcare services and to reducing the high cost of medicines (from patients) from their own pockets," he warned. commission.

The Indian government plans to rely on the private health sector, although it is far less desirable in relation to the treatment of tuberculosis, according to a study reported in the report.

"Only one-third of private doctors are properly treated with tuberculosis when they have had a clear disease with this disease," the report says.


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