The On-Going TB drive leads India to another step closer to being Tuberculosis free

By      15-Oct 2019       Reading Time: 7 Mins

The On-Going TB drive leads India to another step closer to being Tuberculosis free

As the central government under the TB-free India campaign aims to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) in the country by 2025, a drive for Bareilly population to check TB is held from October 12 to 23. For active case finding of tuberculosis (TB) patients, health department has constituted 196 teams. The drive is conducted to find out persons who have TB but are not undergoing treatment.

The data available with the health department shows that 11,033 TB patients were registered from January to August this year. Out of these, 3,995 patients are undergoing treatment at private hospitals.

This round will target 4,74,732 people which is 10% of the district’s population in the TB drive, which is started on Saturday. Bareilly had 8,141 TB patients in 2016 which later increased to 9,605 patients in 2017. According to the officials, two rounds were conducted last year in 2018, one in June 2018 and another in August 2018. 93 cases were found in June 2018 while 104 cases were detected in the second round. Two more rounds of drive took place this year and 107 and 134 new TB patients were detected respectively.

The drive will be having a team comprising 3 members that will conduct a door-to-door survey to check if any person has TB symptoms.

If a person alerts the health department about a suspected TB case and he/she is tested positive, the informer will get a reward of Rs 500 per case and the TB patient will get Rs 500/month for nutrition as well, mentioned District tuberculosis officer Dr Sudhir Garg. TB disease can turn out to be fatal if not treated properly. In 2016, TB was responsible for 1.7 million deaths, despite most cases being curable while over 10 million people contract TB every year.

What is TB?
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria that cause TB is spread through the air from person to person when a person with TB disease coughs, speaks or sings. There’s a possibility that people nearby might breathe in these bacteria and become infected. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium causes TB.

TB symptoms may be mild for many months, and people ill with TB can infect up to 10-15 other people through close contact over the course of a year.

Symptoms are:

  1.  Cough,
  2. Fever,
  3.  Night sweats,
  4. Weight loss
  5.  Weakness
  6.  Fatigue
  7.  Loss of appetite

Types of TB

  1.  If the bacteria remain in the body in an inactive state, it is called latent TB. No symptoms are shown and so it’s not contagious, but they can become active.
  2.  The bacteria do cause symptoms and can be transmitted to others as well, it is called active TB.

Blood tests, chest X-ray, and sputum tests can all be used to test for the presence of TB bacteria.

Antibiotics are usually effective when they are relatively taken for a longer time. The standard length of time for a course of TB antibiotics is about six months.

With the right medication, majority of TB cases can be cured, if administered correctly. The type and length of antibiotic treatment depends on a person’s age, overall health, potential resistance to drugs, whether the TB is latent or active, and the location of the infection (lungs, brain, kidneys).

People with active TB (MDR-TB) often require a prescription of multiple drugs, whereas people with latent TB may need just one kind of TB antibiotics.

For any course of treatment, it is crucial to complete even if the TB symptoms have gone away because in case any bacteria that may have survived the treatment could become resistant to the medication that has been prescribed and could lead to developing MDR-TB in the future.

Directly observed therapy (DOT) is usually recommended. This involves a healthcare worker administering the TB medication which is why it is ensured that the course of treatment is completed.


  1. Wear a mask, cover your mouth, and ventilate rooms. This can help limit the spread of bacteria.
  2.  TB vaccination- In some countries, BCG (Bacille Calmette-Guérin) injections are given to children to vaccinate them against tuberculosis at the time of birth or a booster within few months and years of birth.
  3. The most important and safest prevention is to finish entire courses of medication when they are prescribed.

It’s a welcome step taken by the government to eradicate TB as India bears the highest burden of tuberculosis population in the world and India is all set to be TB free by 2025.

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