Context: The Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare released the annual TB Report 2020, through a virtual event recently. 

More on the news:

  • A Joint Monitoring Mission (JMM) report, a manual on Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to TB patients under NIKSHAY system, a Training Module, and the quarterly newsletter NIKSHAY Patrika are also launched on the occasion.
  • The salient feature of this year is that for the first time Central TB Division (CTD) introduced a quarterly ranking on TB elimination efforts by all the states and UTs. 

The key achievements listed in the Report include:

  • 14% increase in TB notifications as compared to 2018. Around 24.04 Lakh TB patients have been notified in 2019. 
  • Achieving near-complete on-line notification of TB patients through the NIKSHAY system.
  • Reduction in the number of missing cases to 2.9 lakh cases as against more than 10 lakhs in 2017.
  • Private sector notifications increased by 35% with 6.78 lakh TB patients notified.
  • The proportion of children diagnosed increased to 8% in 2019 compared to 6% in 2018, due to easy availability of molecular diagnostics.
  • Provision of HIV testing for all notified TB patients increased from 67% in 2018 to 81% in 2019.
  • 12% improvement in the treatment success rate of notified patients, due to expansion of treatment services. 
  • Better access in rural areas: More than 4.5 lakh DOT Centers provide treatment covering almost every village across the country.
  • NIKSHAY also expanded the provision of four Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) schemes of the programme –
  1. Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY) to TB patients
  2. The incentive to Treatment Supporters
  3. Incentive to Private Providers and
  4. Transport incentive to TB patients in the notified tribal areas
  • Performance of states: 
    • In the categories of larger states (with more than 50 lakh population), Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh were awarded as best performing States. 
    • In the category of smaller states, Tripura and Nagaland were awarded. 
    • In the category of Union Territory, Dadara and Nagar Haveli, and Daman & Diu were chosen as the best performers. 


  • SDG goal: The Government of India is committed to achieving the SDG goal of eliminating TB in the country by 2025, five years ahead of the Global Target. 
  • Will encourage all the states/UTs: As captured in the Annual report, there has been commendable achievement on various parameters of TB Control in the country. 
    • The ranking will surely encourage all the States/UTs to improve their performance to attain their targets. 
  • Highlighting the crucial aspect of stigma against TB patients in the country, which is hampering the fight against this disease.
  • Crucial contribution that the private sector can make to the national TB programme by mandatory TB notification and providing quality.

Government initiatives to eliminate TB from India by 2025:

  • RNTCP to NTEP: To align with the ambitious goal, the programme has been renamed from Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) to National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP).
  • Expansion of laboratory network: The National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) has expanded both the laboratory network as well as diagnostic facilities to cover the entire country. 
  • Expansion of TB services: To End TB by 2025, expansion of TB services and addressing determinants of TB that are beyond health, through a multi-sectoral approach is necessary. 
  • Treatment linkage of drug resistant TB patients, HIV testing of TB patients, Nutritional assistance to TB patients in the form of NIKSHAY Poshan Yojana (DBT), Universal Drug Susceptibility Testing (UDST) coverage among notified TB patients, TB Preventive Therapy (TPT) coverage and Financial expenditure are included in the assessment criteria.
  • The Government has incorporated a community-based response for TB as one of the key strategies to reach the unreached and to support TB patients in the course of their illness. 
    • Towards this end, over 700 TB Forums have been established at the State/UT and District level involving all stakeholders. 
    • These TB Forums will provide a multi-sectoral and community-led response to addressing the challenge of TB.

Early accurate diagnosis followed by prompt appropriate treatment is vital for ending TB. 

India as a nation, need to come together, to fight against TB and the stigma surrounding it so that every TB patient can seek care with dignity and without discrimination.

About Tuberculosis(TB)

  • TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer. Each day, over 4000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.
  • Caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis, TB is an infectious disease. In most cases, TB affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect other sites(non-pulmonary TB).
  • It is a contagion disease, which spreads when the people who are sick with pulmonary TB expel bacteria into the air, for example by coughing.
  • Rapid molecular test, Sputum smear microscopy, Culture-based methods are some of the diagnostic tests for TB.
  • Without treatment, the mortality rate from TB is high.

Initiatives of WHO:

  • Find. Treat. All. #EndTB: A joint initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO)with the Global Fund and Stop TB Partnership, with the aim of accelerating the TB response and ensuring access to care, in line with WHO’s overall drive towards Universal Health Coverage. 
  • A global TB report: Published by the WHO every year since 1997.

Initiatives in India:

  1. There is a free treatment of TB in India.
  2. India aims to eliminate TB by 2025, while the UN aims to eliminate TB by 2030.
  3. Mass BCG vaccination to prevent TB.
  4. Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) was launched in 1993, offering free diagnosis and treatment for patients, rescuing them from otherwise sure death.
  5. A Rs 12,000 cr allocation of fund over the next 3 years to fight TB.
  6. A public campaign: TB Harega Desh Jeetega.


Image Source: The Print