48 Months of Modi Government, Fact Check, Government of India, Health, India, Life, Stories
 

How true are government claims about programs for elimination of Tuberculosis (TB)?

0

The BJP government published an infographic on the 48-months portal. It makes three claims about eliminating tuberculosis (TB) in India. This article is a fact check of the claims made.

The BJP government published an infographic on the 48-months portal. It makes three claims about eliminating tuberculosis (TB) in India. This article is a fact check of the claims made.

How many centers are providing treatment for drug sensitive TB?
The first claim is that ‘treatment for drug sensitive TB is provided through 4,00,000 DOT centers’.

The annual report  (2017-18) of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) states that ‘the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP), based on the internationally recommended Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) strategy, was launched in 1997 expanded across the country in a phased manner with nation-wide coverage of RNTCP was achieved in March, 2006. In terms of treatment of patients, RNTCP has been recognized as the largest and the fastest expanding TB control programme in the world’.

The annual report also goes on to describe that one of the achievements of the programme is that ‘the RNTCP is implemented with decentralized services of TB diagnosis through 14000 Designated microscopy Centers and treatment available in every village in the country through 4 lakh DOT centers’.  While this number is true, a response in the Lok Sabha from 2012 makes it clear that there were already close to 4 lakh (3.97 lakh to be precise) DOTS centers in India by 2012. Hence the claim is misleading.

Claim: Treatment for drug sensitive TB is provided through 4,00,000 DOT centers.

Fact: The RNTCP is implemented with decentralized services of TB diagnosis through 14000 Designated microscopy Centers and treatment available in every village in the country through 4 lakh DOT centers. While this number is true, a response in the Lok Sabha from 2012 makes it clear that there were already close to 4 lakh (3.97 lakh to be precise) DOTS centers in India by 2012. Hence, the claim is MISLEADING.

How many people were covered under the house to house screening of TB symptoms?
The second claim is that ‘house to house screening of TB symptoms covering 5.5 crore population under active case finding’.

The annual report  (2017-18) of the MOHFW points out the new initiatives in the process of eliminating TB and states that ‘to reach the unreached, the Active Case Finding programme has carried out systematic active TB screening among high risk populations through house visits or targeted setting visit (Tribal population, slums, old age homes, prisons, orphanages, transit camps, etc.)’.

A response in Lok Sabha from 2018 stated that ‘active case findings for reaching the unreached vulnerable population in more than 500 districts so far’.

The Active Case Finding is part of the  National Strategic Plan (NSP) (2017-25) formulated under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) that  targets elimination of TB by 2025.

As per the India TB Report of 2018, three phases of active case finding in vulnerable population were conducted till December 2017. In the third phase, 378 districts were covered and around 5.5 crore population screened and 26781 TB cases were diagnosed.

Claim: House to house screening of TB symptoms covering 5.5 crore population under active case finding.

Fact: As per the India TB Report of 2018, three phases of active case finding in vulnerable population were conducted till December 2017. In the third phase, 378 districts were covered and around 5.5 crore population screened and 26781 TB cases were diagnosed. Hence, the claim is TRUE.

Is monthly nutrition support being provided for patients with DBT?
The third claim is that ‘500 rupees monthly nutritional support to patients for the duration of treatment through DBT’.

A response in Lok Sabha from 2018 has pointed out that ‘incentives for nutritional and financial support to the TB patients @ Rs. 500/- per patient per month has been proposed in the General Budget 2018’.

A press release of the government from March 2018 also confirms this support.

The guidance document for nutritional care and support to TB patients was launched on World TB Day (24th March) 2017.

Claim: 500 rupees monthly nutritional support to patients for the duration of treatment through DBT.

Fact: Incentives for nutritional and financial support to the TB patients @ Rs. 500/- per patients per month has been proposed in the general budget 2018. Hence, the claim is TRUE.

This story is part of a larger series on the 4-years of the Modi government. This series has been made possible with the flash grant of the International Fact Checking Network (IFCN). Read the rest of the stories in this series here

Share.

What Do You Think?

scroll