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NTEP: Goals & Challenges



  Apr 13, 2024

NTEP: Goals & Challenges



1. What is the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP)?

The National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP), formerly known as the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), is India’s strategic response to combat tuberculosis (TB). The programme aims to eliminate TB as a public health issue in India by 2025, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious target set in 2018.

2. What are the key components of the NTEP?

The NTEP focuses on early detection, regular and complete treatment of TB, prevention strategies, and strengthening TB care and control services. It includes:

• Universal Drug Susceptibility Testing (UDST) to identify drug-resistant TB cases early.
• Provision of free diagnosis and treatment for all TB patients across the country.
• Nikshay, a case-based web-enabled TB information system for monitoring and case management.
• Engagement with private sector healthcare providers to ensure standardized care.

3. What are drug-sensitive and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB)?

• Drug-sensitive TB refers to TB infections that can be treated with the standard regimen of anti-TB drugs.
• Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) refers to TB infections that are resistant to at least isoniazid and rifampicin, the two most powerful anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB requires a longer and more complex treatment regimen.

4. Why is the elimination of TB a priority for India?

India accounts for a significant proportion of the global TB burden. TB is a leading cause of mortality among infectious diseases in India, making its elimination critical for improving public health, reducing poverty, and achieving sustainable development goals.

5. What challenges does the NTEP face?

The NTEP faces several challenges, including:

• Recurrent drug shortages for both drug-sensitive and MDR-TB.
• Delays in diagnosis and treatment initiation.
• Management inefficiencies and supply chain disruptions.
• Ensuring treatment adherence and completion among patients.

6. How does the NTEP address drug shortages?

In response to drug shortages, the Health Ministry has permitted states to locally procure TB drugs in emergencies and has offered to reimburse patients for the cost of medicines if district health facilities fail to provide them. This measure aims to ensure that treatment is not interrupted due to supply issues.

7. What is the significance of local drug procurement?

Local drug procurement allows for faster response times in addressing drug shortages, ensuring that patients have access to the necessary TB treatment without significant delays. However, it requires effective management and coordination at the state and local levels to be successful.

Understanding these basics of the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) is essential for grasping the scale and scope of India’s efforts to eliminate TB and the challenges it faces in achieving this goal.


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