President Pranab Mukherjee has reminded the country of its success in eradicating polio as he expressed confidence that the scourge of tuberculosis, which kills one person every two minutes in the country, could be wiped out.He said the global TB control is unattainable without controlling it in India. The President, however, noted that there is compelling evidence to suggest that the tide has turned and the burden of TB has begun to fall. "There are now fewer TB-related deaths each year than previous years." He was speaking at the platinum jubilee celebration of the Tuberculosis Association of India and also the inauguration of 68th National Convention on Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases in New Delhi on Sunday.
Mukherjee said that India has the world's highest burden of tuberculosis and TB kills one person every two minutes in the country or almost 750 people daily. "Global TB control is unattainable without controlling the incidence of TB in India... I am confident that when we put our hearts and minds together we shall be able to build an India free of Tuberculosis and other preventable diseases," he said.
Incidents of TB have come down to 176 in 2012 from 209 in 2005 for a population of one lakh. The President said the endeavour should now be to aim for universal access focusing on improved diagnosis of TB patients through improving outreach, vigorously expanding case-finding efforts among vulnerable sections of the society and extending services to patients diagnosed and treated in both the public and private sectors. "I would urge all stakeholders to contribute to this noble cause so that the scourge of Tuberculosis ceases to be a public health problem in India and every citizen of our country goes on to become a productive member of society, participating actively in nation building," he said.
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB (short for tubercle bacillus), in the past also called phthisis, phthisis pulmonalis, or consumption, is a common, and in many cases fatal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis typically attacks the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. It is spread through the air when people who have an active TB infection cough, sneeze, or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air. Most infections do not have symptoms, known as latent tuberculosis. About one in ten latent infections eventually progresses to active disease which, if left untreated, kills more than 50% of those so infected.