The way to control tuberculosis

Contact Counsellor

The way to control tuberculosis

  • Tuberculosis is worst among endemic diseases, killing 1.5 million people every year (WHO).

TB And India

  • India: TB capital of the world, it kills some 1,400 persons every day.
  • These are gross estimates, for our health management system has no method to count the exact numbers.
  • The National TB Control Programme of 1962 was district-based with public-private participation.
  • However, upscaling the model proved unsuccessful and the programme failed to control TB.

Flaws in the programme

  • No prescribed method of monitoring trajectory of TB control.
  • Assumption that treating pulmonary TB patients alone would control TB was epidemiologically fallacious in India.
  • RNTCP failed to elicit people’s partnership in TB control.

Controlling TB

  • Human mastery over microbes includes control, elimination and eradication.
  • Control refers to the reduction of disease burden through specific interventions to a predetermined level in a pre-stated time period.
  • Evidence will have to show that reduction was due to those interventions and not due to a ‘secular trend’.


  • Elimination refers to achieving zero frequency of new cases.
  • As we have a huge backlog of latent TB, we cannot eliminate TB, but we must aim for a high level of control and document it with measurement.

Prelims Take Away

  • TB
  • AIDS
  • National TB Control Programme