India Making "Exemplary" Progress in Tuberculosis Battle: WHO
October 1, 2003
On Sept. 27, Leopold Blanc, coordinator of the tuberculosis operations and strategy cell of the World Health Organization, commended India for its remarkable advancement in fighting TB. WHO's 40-member team of experts found that India's TB control program had achieved the "fastest expansion with quality in the world."
"In less than five years," Blanc said, "there has been exemplary progress and a random survey of 20 tuberculosis centers across India showed that the disease was being properly diagnosed, drugs were available and monitoring was good."
India said its health officials are detecting 70 percent of estimated TB cases across the country, up from 30 percent five years ago. Roughly 4.5 million Indians currently have TB, one-fourth of estimated cases worldwide.
India uses the DOTS program, in which people with tubercular symptoms take a sputum test and can begin a standard six- to eight-month course of treatment if diagnosis is confirmed. "We have prevented 350,000 deaths and detected 70 percent of all new cases which is much higher than the global average of 66 percent," said L.S. Chauhan, who heads India's state-run 6.8-billion-rupee (US$145 million) TB control program.
"Tuberculosis is an entirely curable disease and we are doing everything in our power to spread the word," Chauhan added.
Agence France Presse
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.