TODAY -

It's Time to bend the curve sharply to #endTB

Shobha Shukla / Bobby Ramakant *



Although governments of 193 countries had promised way back in 2015 to end tuberculosis (TB) by 2030, the global annual rate of TB decline since then has been much less than what is required. The rate of TB decline which is currently hovering around 1.5%, should catapult to over 10% by 2025 globally, in order to end TB by 2030.

But some countries do give hope; like Thailand, which has already achieved a TB decline rate of around 10% (source: WHO Global TB Report 2018). The number of drug-resistant TB cases also saw a 13% reduction in Thailand in the past year.

"We try to bend the curves towards ending TB more sharply by implementing WHO End TB Strategy. The National TB Programme of Thailand (NTP), MOPH [Ministry of Public Health] has come a long way in combating TB", said Professor Emeritus Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, Minister of Public Health, Thailand, in an exclusive interview with CNS (Citizen News Service).

Concerted and well-coordinated multi-sectoral action coupled with strong commitment from top political leadership has indeed made a difference in Thailand's fight against TB. This has resulted in the approval of National TB Strategy in Thailand by the cabinet with additional funds to support TB case finding through latest molecular diagnostics and chest radiography especially in high risk groups (such as people in prison).

The country has also developed the Thailand Operational Plan to End Tuberculosis 2017 - 2021. "This Plan consists of the following five strategies:
(i) active TB case finding to ensure full coverage through TB screening in high risk populations;
(ii) reducing TB mortality;
(iii) enhancing human resource capacity for TB prevention, treatment and control;
(iv) creating a system to support sustainable and strategic TB management;
(v) promoting research and innovation for TB prevention, treatment and control," informed Prof Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn.

Keeping in mind the acute need of new molecular diagnostic tools for early detection of TB, new drugs to treat TB (including drug resistant TB), and eventually having a TB vaccine, Thailand government has also funded a national TB research network (formally known as 'ThaiTurn') that aims to bring innovative tools and strategies to bolster the country's response to end TB. In August 2017, ThaiTurn launched the country's first-ever national TB research roadmap. This roadmap includes research priorities targeted at addressing health systems challenges, as well as the prevention and treatment of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB).

"This roadmap is a vital blueprint for invigorating efforts to end TB in Thailand," had said Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn at the launch of this roadmap. "Leveraging this prioritized research strategy, with all stakeholders engaged, is expected to produce strategic innovations for patient-centred TB prevention and care, bringing us one step closer to provide a promising solution for ending TB in Thailand."

According to TB Alliance (Global Alliance for TB Drug Development), today's TB medicines are inadequate to tackle the pandemic. TB treatments take too long to cure, are too complicated to administer, and can be toxic. New treatments that are faster, simpler, and affordable are urgently needed.

Echoes Dr Soumya Swaminathan, who is the first-ever Chief Scientific Officer of the WHO and former Deputy Director General of this UN global health agency. "Without new tools, elimination goal for TB is not going to be possible. And these new tools would mean a point of care rapid diagnostic test which can be performed in the field settings to screen as well as to diagnose TB, a treatment combination of drugs that would cure TB in a short period (1-2 months), a better vaccine for TB and a better detection and treatment strategy for latent TB. These are the identified gaps where research and development (R&D) is needed. I think it is really important to have a roadmap so that we can track progress and eventually end TB."

However, funding gap continues to slow down the fight against TB. Financing also becomes scarce for R&D of new TB diagnostics, drugs and vaccines. Countries like Thailand are tapping on innovative and domestic financing mechanisms to bridge this gap. Thailand's domestic financing for TB control went up by more than 200% between 2015 and 2017, setting an example for other high burden TB nations to up their national TB budgets.

"The funding gaps do not only occur with Thai NTP [national TB programme], but these gaps, especially R&D also still exists at the global level. However, we attempt to fill these gaps with the budget from the existing health service system. For other additional budget, it will be allocated by the priority issues such as monitoring of TB contacts, treatment of MDR-TB, and social support to improve treatment collaboration" said Thailand's Minister Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn.

"Furthermore, multi-sectoral collaboration approach can also bring us to the successful story. The budget framework has been used on developing a national strategic plan, operational plan and estimating costs of activities by relevant parties, for instance, the Ministry of Justice in coordination with the Ministry of Public Health (TB screening and care to prisoners) and the National Health Security Office (treatment for TB and laboratory test)."

Weak health security puts people at increased risk of diseases like TB. Moreover, fragile health systems will threaten to reverse gains made in TB control. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) model of Thailand has received global spotlight. "With more and more focus on UHC and knowing the fact that the outcomes for TB control really depend on how good your health system is, domestic investment for health systems' strengthening and support is eventually going to pay dividends for TB control" said Dr Soumya Swaminathan of WHO.

Thailand to co-facilitate UN high level meeting on UHC

The next United Nations High Level Meeting (UNHLM) will focus on UHC, with Thailand as co-facilitator, along with Hungary. The President of the UNGA has appointed Vitavas Srivihok, Permanent Representative of Thailand, along with Katalin Annamaria Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to co-facilitate the UNHLM on UHC to be held on 23 September 2019 on the theme of "Universal Health Coverage: Moving together to build a healthier world".

Last year at the UNGA, country leaders met at UNHLM to end TB and adopted a Political Declaration on TB, which also calls for a progress report in 2020 and a comprehensive review by heads of state and governments at a high-level meeting in 2023.

"Three critical components - funding, action, and accountability - will be pivotal to the success of the initiatives of this UNHLM on TB" rightly emphasized Dr Suvanand Sahu, Dr Lucica Ditiu and Dr Alimuddin Zumla of the Stop TB Partnership in The Lancet Global Health special feature in the lead up to this year's World TB Day.

TB is curable and preventable but still it remains the leading infectious cause of death worldwide. It's high time to end TB!


* Shobha Shukla and Bobby Ramakant, CNS (Citizen News Service) wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at ramakantbobby(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on 23 March, 2019.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Remembering Japanese War Memorial
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • 4th open letter to RSS Sarsanghchalak
  • Manipur & Nagaland: Which one is Ram Rajya
  • Blindspot in the global HIV response
  • Origin & development of Hindi journalism
  • Place where first match stick was struck
  • Union Budget 2024
  • Anti-Repression Day @ MDU #2 : Gallery
  • Gossiping: Safety valve of social pressure
  • Gritty Filmmaker RK Kripa no more
  • Internal stigma is out of shadow at AIDS 2024
  • Climate preview at COP 29
  • 9th Brahmaputra Film Fest invite entry
  • Current existence of the people
  • Is US ready for first female President ?
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #11
  • SoO pact towards disintegration of Manipur
  • Logical curriculum is the need of the hour
  • Prodigal Ambani shaadi
  • Marks Vs Skills in today's world
  • Taking ST demand to the Assembly
  • Good intention, bad action
  • My daily prayer to Modi Bhagwan
  • Voting & Development : A new strategy
  • More infection-prevention options but...
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Sekmaijin
  • Job Openings at SAS Skills, Imphal
  • The Power of Poppy - 40 :: Poem
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #3 : Gallery
  • Compassion, empathy can restore peace
  • Totomsana Nongshaba to be inaugurated
  • Putting people first means following Gandhi
  • Assessment of cage culture on Maphou
  • Hotspots of trouble in North East India
  • Seeking a date with PM Modi
  • Puja Khedkar case: Opening the can of worm
  • Re-Interpretation of Subika Art of Manipur
  • International Day of Yoga #2 : Gallery
  • India refugee policy: Rohingyas Vs Chin-Kuki
  • Haats (Weekly Markets) of Guwahati
  • Shillong gears up to host Durand Cup
  • Lip care during Monsoon
  • Gaikhangam in his elements, again
  • The death of a Chiru man
  • Anti-Repression Day @ MDU #1 : Gallery
  • You are wrong, but it's okay
  • Growing call for 100-100-100 to end AIDS
  • Pelvis as the body's emotional junk drawer!
  • World Youth Skills Day & our environment
  • Insanity at its worst
  • 55 kms per day on Imphal-Jiri stretch
  • Justice Kotiswar: First among equals
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #2 : Gallery
  • Introducing Thang-Ta in school curriculum
  • N Kotiswar - Judge Supreme Court of India
  • Meitei Professors' Invention Patent [Upd]
  • Boeing crisis hits India, air fares to shoot up
  • Scholarship: Rs 4 crore for civil service
  • Out on the streets against extortions
  • Mandate against party-hopping
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #10
  • Bamboo Bio-toilets at Champu Kangpok
  • Decarbonisation for human survival
  • Book Release to promote physical education
  • "ST status for Meetei" @ Langmeidong
  • Condemns the Killing of CRPF Jawan
  • Rahul Ji, let us talk solution
  • Targeting Central security personnel
  • The monster outgrowing its creator
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #2 : Gallery
  • World Plastic Surgery Day 2024
  • A new front of 'power politics' in Nagaland
  • 2nd Meghalaya Pineapple Fest at Delhi
  • Super 20 batch for UPSC 2025 announced
  • Why is PM not meeting Manipur leaders ?
  • Justice to displaced people
  • Imphal Art College Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec given
  • Will #PutPeopleFirst drive HIV response?
  • Open Letter to Amit Shah, Home Minister
  • The Power of Poppy - 39 :: Poem
  • World Population Day 2024
  • Beating of the Retreat #3 : Gallery
  • Liar's lair :: Poem
  • The Richest Man in Imphal
  • Gamcha, the Assamese Scarf
  • Meghalaya Govt launches OTT platform
  • Comprehensive Coverage in NE Telecom
  • Battered and tattered roads
  • Let there be transparency
  • Kanglei Thokpa @ Sagol Kangjei : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #3: Gallery
  • Historic Premiere: 'Chilli Chicken' at Manipur
  • Effective Unified Command for Resolution
  • Music & Quiz: Drug Abuse amongst youth
  • Visionless and headless DMU
  • When is the right time & situation for PM visit
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #37: Download
  • Inspirations from Scientists of Manipur: Book
  • Manipur crisis: Treat the disease, not symptom
  • 133rd Durand Cup Trophies Flags Off
  • NEET droppers vs freshers
  • Death : Only future to look at ?
  • Mental health of displaced people
  • Aftermath of Imphal Flooding #1 : Gallery
  • When was the last time we smiled ?
  • Appeal to Stop Unbearable Monetary Demand
  • 'Oppenheimer' links with Supreme Science
  • 'Preventing from holding a press conference'
  • Travel tips during Monsoon
  • Look at it via ground reality
  • Making the 'Balak Buddhi' wiser
  • Kang Chingba @Govindajee #1 : Gallery
  • Release Ebo Mili & Stop large dams in ArP
  • Rainforests are the lungs of Earth
  • Education suffering from political interference
  • Inflated bill main vote plank, law dont cut graft
  • From the Lok Sabha to Manipur
  • Third visit of Rahul
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #9
  • International Day of Yoga #1 : Gallery
  • Lord Jagannatha's processional chariot fest
  • World Zoonoses Day 2024
  • PM 'bola' in Parliament
  • Acknowledging the stand of UNC
  • Embracing tree plantation as a new trend
  • 17th N Tombi Equestrian C'ships #2 : Gallery
  • The spirit & the creed of the Olympics
  • Kang Chingba (Rath Yatra) : Book
  • 'Economic blockade: Rumors baseless'
  • The Power of Poppy - 38 :: Poem
  • Balancing children's academic performance
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #2 : Gallery
  • Covid, Ngari, Yu and Loktak
  • Rural people struggling with network problem
  • English certificate courses for BA student
  • 6th July is International Day of Cooperatives
  • Clogging the waterways with plastics
  • Diverting public attention from core issues
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #2 : Gallery
  • Gateway of Assam
  • Integrating GIS & EWS for flood management
  • The Dopamine overdose
  • Free workshop on civil service exams
  • Bucket of cold water after a hot shower
  • Breaking the silence
  • Imphal flooded (again) [Jul 3] #1 : Gallery
  • Embracing 'Sharra - Kashar-ot'
  • Drug abuse & illicit trafficking in Manipur
  • Nudity being served to increase followers
  • Record high temperature
  • Bangladesh FM Hasan Mahmud's Riyadh visit
  • Indigenous call for NRC
  • Come home to the electorates
  • Meiteis must unite for survival
  • Flood advisories issued
  • State & District Control Rooms
  • Green Hydrogen for a clean environment
  • Need for an Emergency
  • Monsoons beauty
  • Calling out the indifference of Delhi
  • Questioning the silence with a roar
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #8
  • Problem & prospect of floriculture in Manipur
  • WomenLeaders India Fellowship 2024-25
  • Naga Peace Talks and Narasimha Rao
  • Arunachal Minister visits Oil Palm @Godavari
  • Clear cut stand from the Nagas
  • Crisis resolution in 100-day plan ?
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur: A battleground of imperial geopolitics
  • Wangkhem Suresh @ Higher Defence Course
  • Shoppers Stop's 1st Store in Dimapur
  • Stop razing rail station, divert 25k Cr to Signal
  • Has Imphal completely lost the plot ?
  • Time to take responsibility
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #3 : Gallery
  • July Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Letter to Prime Minister of India
  • International Day of Parliamentarism
  • Skill Development Course at Lumshnong
  • The Power of Poppy - 37 :: Poem
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Manipur Kanba Khongchat #1 : Gallery
  • Rally @ Jiribam [June 26] : Gallery
  • Panthoibi Phijol Hongba @Mandalay : Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #1 : Gallery
  • Ema Panthoibi Phijol Hongba at Mandalay
  • Ibudhou Cheng Hongba #1 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD