In India, COVID-19 efforts can be combined with tuberculosis prevention help defeat both illnesses. Photo: Shubhangee Vyas



With COVID-1 9, our lives are no longer the same. The pandemic has overshadowed other health issues and made the progress did over decades in our struggle against other illness, including tuberculosis( TB ). In India, despite sustained and aggressive nation-wide interventions, this deadly disease continues to haunt the population with one of the world’s highest TB infection rates.

Under the National TB Elimination Program, the country has successfully considered over 20 million patients since 1997. Tries have been afoot to further reduce the TB burden, but the COVID-1 9 pandemic has created serious obstacles.

However, rather than being an obstacle, the pandemic should be seen as an opportunity to simultaneously combat COVID-1 9 and TB, in order to avert millions of deaths.

The respiratory route is the primary procedure of transmission for both infections. Interrupting it will stop the spread of both. In addition, world-wide strategies to control COVID-1 9 and TB have common key component: early perception, diagnosis, contact drawing, and event conduct. Both ailments also require a whole-of-society approach and active community action for implementing simple, doable, evidence-based and inexpensive non-pharmaceutical interventions.

The National TB Elimination Program is a good neighbourhood to start this process in India. It has demonstrated the strong participation of civil society and community leadership in avoidance and management of TB. This can be used to curb the spread of COVID-1 9 through community outreach that seeks to reduce close contact and promote operation of non-pharmaceutical involvements( e.g. respiratory hygiene) in communities, public transport and overcrowded houses.

The program has also been instrumental in receive active TB examples. This can be expanded to include COVID-1 9 by strengthening the surveillance for influenza-like illness. The merger of surveillance undertaking for communicable diseases with similar modes of transmission is prudent, efficient, productive, and cost-effective.

This success can also be attributed to the involvement/ participation of the private sector, including utilize of the TB notification and patient management system ‘NIKSHAY.’ This IT-based platform can be strengthened to integrating notifications and responses to COVID-1 9. The approaches for COVID-1 9 is likely to be synced with TB’s four strategic pillars of “Detect- Treat- Prevent- Build.”

India has scaled up diagnostic facilities by making highly effective experiments accessible in all regions of the country. This has helped to make sure more people are diagnosed, receive proper medical treatment and thus shorten communication of infection.

One of these measures, the cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification test, is rapid, very sensitive, specific, and too identifies opposition against recommended antituberculosis medicines. This system has also been extensively used during the COVID-1 9 pandemic, displaying the possibility of cross-use and integration of such systems for diagnosis of other infectious diseases. With minor modifications it has the potential to become an inexpensive and reliable diagnostic assistant across the spectrum of infectious diseases.

The pandemic should be seen as an opportunity to simultaneously combat COVID-1 9 and TB, in order to avert millions of deaths.

The other, TrueNat( r ), is a chip-based, portable reversal transcription polymerase chain reaction( RT-PCR) machine that is the fastest available experiment for COVID-1 9. It also has the potential to become an important diagnostic implement for variou infectious diseases.

These exams can be made more effective by strengthening diagnostic outreach in the community with well-defined referral mechanisms.

Using the same facilities for testing TB and COVID-1 9, with possible stretch and strengthening, can assist in successful reductions of both cankers. India has, in a remarkably short period of 6 months, scaled testing capacity for COVID-1 9 from the initial 15 testing laboratories to more than 1750 laboratories across the country. TB detection services bring benefits terribly from this feasible, economical and quality service network-based delivery model.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched the Tuberculosis Free India Campaign( TB Mukt Bharat ), presenting his vision to eliminate TB from India by 2025. Similar lead has been shown in managing the pandemic. India even allocated about $10 million to the COVID-1 9 Emergency Fund for fighting the pandemic in the neighboring countries in South Asia. The pandemic response can benefit from adopting best rules in India’s TB program, including telemedicine, doorstep bringing of drugs, insurance coverage, improved logistics, private sector partnerships and other benefits to community and frontline health workers.

The COVID-1 9 response has put the focus on public health interventions like social distancing, use of disguises, cough etiquette, and paw cleanlines. Continuing these steps will help in preventing new infections of TB as well. In the long term, strengthening endeavors on catering properly freshened houses to the poor contributes to the prevention of all respiratory infections. Strategies such as the 30 -second coronavirus mobile phone ring tone produced in India can be also be used to promote control of TB and other infectious diseases.

Managing the COVID-1 9 eruption can help end tuberculosis in India in other roads as well. A major challenge in TB elimination continues to be “missing cases”. Sustained awareness amongst societies on many facets of TB- including the lethal consequences of late diagnosis and imperfect medication of TB, will encourage people to seek health services more quickly. A strong structure of diagnostic laboratories- on the pattern of COVID-1 9 labs, is needed to confirm the diagnosis and provide adequate treatment.

Lessons learned in pandemic should also include integrated training on related ailments. The malady dynamics and management of TB and COVID–1 9 can be communicated simultaneously to medical professionals and the public to ensure uniformity and better compliance. Other sickness can also be easily integrated into these training modules or programmes for broader improve the situation of skills and efficient use of training resources.

Across the world, immense technological and financial resources are being invested into fighting the COVID-1 9 pandemic. Most of these are fortifying existing public health services and knowledge in managing cases and implementing effective measures for infection prevention and control. It will be prudent to sustain these achievements and use them to provide a speedy response to future epidemics or pandemics as well as improved health services, particularly those be related to respiratory infections.

covid, covid-1 9, coronavirus, novel coronavirus, corona virus, covid-1 9 response, communicable diseases, infectious diseases, emergency response, health response, outbreak, pandemic, covid-1 9 avoidance, India, tuberculosis, TB, respiratory illnessSonalini KhetrapalSungsup RaPatrick L. OseweCountries: IndiaArticle

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