The lurking danger of drug resistance TB is becoming apparent to the Government Health officials, albeit for the first time. The Union Ministry is now pulling up its socks and gearing up to take stock of multi-drug resistant MDR-TB.
DOTS Plus, or directly observed treatment, short-course, a public health initiative , developed by the World Health Organization and its partners, is likely to be set afloat in Maharashtra and Gujarat. 100 MDR-TB cases are envisaged in the first phase of the initiative.
Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss said "The prevalence of MDR-TB among the new TB cases ranges between 1 and 3 per cent. Among the old cases, the prevalence is 12 per cent. The ministry is creating diagnostic facilities in each state to detect MDR cases."
The Centre has a plan of setting up a network of DOTS Plus sites that will be equipped to provide assistance to 5,000 new MDR-TB cases in a year. According to Mr. Ramadoss, the detection rate for TB is over 70%. Now, with all the initiatives planned the government is optimistic about the figures dropping by more than half by 2015, which will be in line with the UN's Millennium Development Goals.