Eradicating TB in India

India bears the largest burden of tuberculosis (TB) in the world. The TB prevention and control landscape in India is fraught with challenges at multiple levels, including low risk perception, lack of awareness, social stigma, an unregulated private sector and lack of treatment adherence. The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) is an initiative aimed at providing countrywide access to TB diagnostics and treatment. Since its introduction in 1997, the RNTCP has been at the forefront of far-reaching transformations at the policy and implementation levels that have changed the face of India’s TB prevention and control landscape. It achieved nationwide coverage in 2006 and has contributed to a significant decrease in mortality figures due to TB. Outlining its strategy for the future in the National Strategic Plan (2012-17) for TB prevention and control, the RNTCP is now focusing on increasing the efficacy of its interventions through increased budgetary allocations, proactive private sector engagement and the use of new technology to create a nationwide database and monitor treatment adherence. This issue of the Global Policy-Observer Research Foundation Series brings together, in a special issue to be launched on World TB Day this year, a range of articles by leading policymakers, administrators, technical experts and members of civil society working in India’s TB landscape to help us understand the nature of challenges posed by TB and what we, both as government and as society, need to do.

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