More Political Will, Funding, Training Needed To Reduce TB-Related Deaths In India
New York Times: What Killed Half a Million Indians?
Pranay Sinha, a physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Scott K. Heysell, a physician and associate professor of medicine, infectious diseases, and international health at the University of Virginia
“…A staggering number of Indians — over 400 million — are estimated to be infected with TB. … Yet the Indian government has failed to grapple with the urgency and magnitude of the crisis. … India’s underfunded health care system struggles to provide preventive care to Indians who need it most. … To eradicate TB, finding active cases is necessary along with rapid initiation of TB treatment and ensuring the completion of therapy. Additionally, contacts of TB patients must be located, tested, and treated if necessary. Enlarging India’s corps of community health workers will be important for these activities. The private sector must be trained, motivated, and assisted to provide the standard of care or to refer TB patients to [public health] services. … Millions of Indians have died of TB, and millions more have seen the disease stifle their hopes of a better tomorrow. It is time for the Indian government to cough up the money needed to end the suffering” (6/21).