Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is an infectious, airborne disease that mainly affects your lungs. It is also one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide.
Caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the disease can spread from person to person through the air when people with lung TB cough, sneeze, spit, laugh, speak, propelling the germs into the atmosphere.
‘Hamirpur was the first district covered under the TB control programme in 1995 followed by Kangra and Mandi in 1998 and the entire state in January, 2002.’
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), six countries accounted for 60% of the new TB cases including India in 2015.
The Health Department has set 2023 deadline to make the state TB-free. Health experts face a daunting task as the number of Multiple Drug Resistant (MDR) TB cases are on the rise.
At least eight districts of the state, barring Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur, Una and Chamba, fall under the 'high TB burden category'. Dr RK Baria, state TB officer, said more than 180 new TB patients were reported from each of these districts in a year. Around 15,000 new tuberculosis patients were reported every year for the last five years.
As many as 400 patients with MDR TB were reported in 2016. The mortality rate among TB patients remains at 4 per cent with 562 TB patients succumbing to the disease last year.
Himachal Pradesh would achieve its target of completely controlling tuberculosis (TB) by 2023, two years ahead of the target, state Health Minister Kaul Sing said.
The state was front-runner in TB control activities and carved a niche for it at the national level, he said at the closing session of a two-day workshop of Zonal Task Force (North Zone).
The workshop was organised by the State Task Force, State TB Cell and National Health Mission HP, in collaboration with Central TB Division, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
As many as 100 delegates from eight states -- Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh -- participated in the workshop.