Govt rolls out new drug regimen for TB

Srinagar

Government on Monday rolled out a daily drug regimen for treating tuberculosis (TB) to achieve the goal of its elimination by 2025.

Under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), the Directorate of Health Services, Kashmir (DHSK), launched the new regimen, which will replace the existing three-times a week treatment.

“It (new regimen) will help in reducing relapse rate and the number of multi-drug-resistant TB cases. To simplify the treatment, now patients will be put on a fixed drug combinations as a single dose instead of several individual drugs. It will also reduce the drug burden,” said DHSK Director Dr Saleem-ur Rehman. After launching the daily free DOTS medicine course for the new TB patients across the Valley, Rehman said the patients would receive daily drugs under the RNTCP through the treatment support network of the state.

For better control of the disease, he said the TB patients availing health services in the private sector would also be provided free diagnostics and drugs from the RNTCP.

He said the old regimen had led to increasing instances of drug resistance and relapse, which occurs when a patient is declared cured by a doctor but tests positive for tuberculosis again. In India, two deaths in every five minutes and 600 deaths per day happen due to the TB, he said. “The disease has become a big threat in India as compared to AIDS. But in the Valley, cure rate for the disease is 85 per cent as compared to the rest of the country,” he said.

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