Why is India’s TB burden getting bigger – The Financial Express

TB is becoming a major health concern the world over. And, India has the highest number of cases. Dr Nikhil Modi, senior consultant, respiratory and critical care medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, says several interconnected factors contribute to the prevalence of TB in India, elevating it to a major health concern.
Firstly, India’s dense population and socio-economic diversity create an environment ripe for TB transmission. Additionally, malnutrition and a high prevalence of other infections like HIV/AIDS weaken immune systems, making individuals more susceptible to TB.
The challenge in diagnosing TB cases promptly adds to the burden. Many cases remain undetected or are diagnosed late due to limited access to healthcare facilities, especially in rural areas. Suboptimal healthcare infrastructure, lack of awareness, and stigma associated with the disease contribute to delayed diagnosis and treatment. 
Drug-resistant strains of TB have also emerged as a formidable issue in India. Incomplete or inadequate treatment courses, improper drug regimens, and lack of proper monitoring have led to the rise of drug-resistant TB strains. Efforts to combat TB in India have been ongoing, with initiatives like the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program. But sustaining these efforts requires continuous investment in healthcare infrastructure, better access to diagnostic tools, increased public awareness, and addressing socio-economic determinants of health. The magnitude of 
TB in India necessitates a multi-pronged approach involving the government, healthcare providers, NGOs, and the community. 
Vaccination remains one of the most effective public health interventions, significantly reducing the burden of infectious diseases worldwide. Certain factors can contribute to perceived failures or decreased effectiveness of vaccines. Variants may possess changes in their genetic makeup that reduce the effectiveness of existing vaccines. Certain populations, such as the elderly or immunocompromised individuals, may have diminished immune responses to vaccines. 
Continuous surveillance of vaccine efficacy, improved vaccine delivery systems, and public health education are crucial in ensuring sustained vaccine effectiveness. It’s important to note that administering vaccines during infancy significantly mitigates disease severity in children. However, its effectiveness particularly in later stages remains limited. 
Several bacterial pathogens have demonstrated the capacity to develop new strains that possess enhanced virulence factors, allowing them to cause more severe illness or evade the host immune response more effectively. For instance, strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium causing tuberculosis, have shown variations in virulence, impacting disease severity and response to treatment.
Moreover, bacteria can acquire antibiotic resistance genes, leading to the emergence of multidrug-resistant or extensively drug-resistant strains. These strains are challenging to treat as they are resistant to multiple classes of antibiotics. Monitoring and surveillance of bacterial strains, along with research into their genetic makeup and mechanisms of virulence and resistance, are essential to understand and combating these evolving threats. Developing new antibiotics, exploring alternative treatment strategies, implementing robust infection control measures, and promoting antibiotic stewardship are crucial in managing the spread of virulent and drug-resistant bacterial strains.
Controlling the spread of infectious diseases requires a multifaceted approach involving various strategies aimed at prevention, early detection, and effective management. Collaboration among governments, healthcare systems, communities, and international organisations is fundamental in implementing and sustaining these measures effectively. 
Get live Share Market updates, Stock Market Quotes, and the latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download the Financial Express App for the latest finance news.


Leave a Comment

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

Scroll to Top
Join Whatsapp Group!
Scan the code