Skip to main content

Gains in tuberculosis control threatened by drug resistance (downtoearth,)

Gains made in controlling tuberculosis (TB) are now threatened by growing drug-resistance in the bacteria that causes it. Experts from various countries including India, China and South Africa expressed their concern in an article published in the journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine, on March 23.

They opine that the rise and spread of two kinds of drug resistant TB—multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extremely drug resistant (XDR) tuberculosis—mirrors the spread of antimicrobial resistance against malaria, HIV and gram negative pathogens. It is believed that drug resistant-TB resulted out of poor compliance of treatment regimens and programmatic failure is now being questioned.

The multi-drug resistant variant of TB remains unaffected by two of the most powerful anti-TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin. XDR-TB, is a form of drug-resistant TB with additional resistance to more anti-TB drugs that therefore responds to even fewer available medicines. XDR-TB involves resistance to isoniazid and rifampicin, another family of drugs called fluoroquinolones, and at least one of the three injectable second-line drugs.

The authors say that sub-optimal drug delivery may be one of the reasons for increase in drug resistant TB. To overturn this, the authors stress on new and repurposed drugs (such as bedaquiline) and updated policies.

Another article published in the same journal says that the TB-causing pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis had a 50-year head start in developing resistance to the current first line of treatment. It also points to the lack of commitment to address drug-resistant TB, which can now be a transmitted from one person to another. The authors propose that over the next decade, drug-resistant TB can spread in an unprecedented scale. Thus, its addressal will require a stronger commitment from high-burden countries, the article adds.

India is a hub for TB and its drug-resistant variants, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The Global Tuberculosis Report 2016 reveals that India has been underreporting TB incidence by a large margin. The Union health ministry aims to eradicate the disease by 2025, but that cannot be done without addressing drug-resistance.


Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…