IMA deliberates on ending TB


SHILLONG, Aug 30: The Meghalaya State Chapter of Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Tuesday held a brainstorming session on India’s target of ending the menace of tuberculosis or TB by 2025 as it has emerged as the single-leading human infection that kills after COVID.
“Delayed diagnosis, drug defaulting, uncontrolled co-morbidities like diabetes, reactivation of latent TB, the emergence of drug-resistant variants, a limited number of accredited laboratories for high-end drug sensitivity testing and malnutrition in the backdrop of low socio-economic status are plausible factors negatively affecting the tuberculosis control programmes,” a North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) official said.
Elucidating the implication of the natural history of tuberculosis, GK Medhi, Head of Community Medicine, said that the elimination of TB in the country within the next 30 months from now is an “abstract goal with a cautious optimism” from a public health perspective.
Speaking on the occasion, Director of NEIGRIHMS Nalin Mehta said that ending TB within a short time may “indeed be a tall order, but in human endeavours such urgency makes it all the more important to come together to brainstorm for a national cause”.
Quoting Ronald Ross (who discovered the life cycle of malaria to win the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology), he emphasised the evolutionary fight of two parallel universes — the unassuming yet genetically smart single cell microorganisms and the human race that boasts of its collective scientific and intellectual prowess.
Principal Secretary Health Sampath Kumar said malaria was once rampant in Meghalaya but a concerted effort of the government through the adoption of exploratory factor analysis model that first started with the Garo Hills districts (where malaria was highly endemic then) led to phenomenal reduction of malaria cases through early detection and aggressive anti-malarial medicines by Health Care Workers. “Similar approach may be explored, adopted or adapted for TB,” he suggested. (UNI)