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Study Forecasts MDR TB To Rise In India

A recent study in the medical journal  Lancet  points towards a tough time ahead for India in it s fight against Multidrug Resistant-Tuberculosis (MDR-TB), a form of TB caused by bacteria that are resistant to treatment with first-line anti-TB medication. According to the study By 2040, 12.4 per cent of TB cases in India will be multi-drug-resistant, up from 7.9 per cent in 2000. The findings are all the more relevant when the health ministry is targeting the elimination of tuberculosis by 2025. The report also says that the share of MDR-TB will rise in the other three high burden countries as well. In Russia MDR-TB will have a share of 32.5%  of all TB cases, while the corresponding figures for Philippines and South Africa will be 8.9% and 5.7% respectively. Nearly 40% of all drug resistant TB cases occurs in these four countries, with India accounting for the most drug resistant patients- nearly 1.3 lakh of the total 4.8 lakh cases in 2015.

Globally, an estimated 10.4 million new cases of tuberculosis and 1.8 million deaths related to tuberculosis disease occurred in 2015 with India shouldering the highest TB burden in the world( 2 million reported cases).

Two new drugs-Bedaquiline and Delamanid-  are being used in Europe and US , however they are yet to be made available in India s national healthcare system. The need of the hour is to make these drugs available throughout the country, from just six cities at present. Only very few patients who are in need of the drugs have access to them currently.

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