The new anti-TB drug, with delamanid as active substance, is currently administered to patients -- primarily children in the age group of six to 17 years -- in a few southern states of India and is yet to be introduced in Uttar Pradesh, which reported 4.22 lakh patients in 2018.
According to the State TB officer Santosh Gupta, "Delamanid would be introduced in UP in the third quarter of the year, as per the central guidelines."
"We are awaiting procurement of the drug from the union government. Four of our officers have been trained for implementation of the drug, which will be given to children (9-17 years) with MDR-TB," the doctor added.
Gupta said that another pill with bedaquiline has already been introduced in the state to fight excessively drug resistant (XDR) TB and for which 18 nodal drug resistance centres have been set up.
"An XDR-TB patient is resistant to all anti-TB drugs, including even the stronger combinations of medicines. It is an advanced form of MDR-TB. Bedaquiline, which is WHO recommended, has been made available to patients for free and is found to be effective," said Gupta and added that patients were being kept under close observation for side effects.
He further laid emphasis on the early detection of TB cases.
Meanwhile, chairman of the UP state task force for TB control and head of KGMU's respiratory medicine department, Professor Suryakant said: "Around 28 lakh TB patients are recorded in India. If nutrition is not received in the form of lentils/pulses, fruits and vegetables in diet, a person is more susceptible to the TB bacteria."