Tuberculosis or TB is an age-old infectious disease that India has been fighting for a long. Our country has listed this illness as one of the top public health concerns that require awareness and enough information among the general population. Due to lack of understanding, many of them still carry a social stigma about this disease, and many patients also try concealing the illness from their close group of friends or family.
March 24th every year is commemorated as World Tuberculosis Day to raise public awareness across the globe. During this awareness campaign, the general public is informed about the country's current situation and its battle against the deadly disease, how the infected person's health will deteriorate, the stigma around it, and not the least social and economic consequences of Tuberculosis. There is a higher increase in the number of TB diseases in our country, and it majorly fatal because most of the patients are infected by drug-resistant TB.
TB is one of the deadliest infectious illnesses globally, and daily there are about 4000 people losing lives because of this disease. India stands second to China, with nearly three lakh people dying because of the illness, and more than two million people are falling sick because of TB. Various organizations in our country start multiple programs to make people aware of the free programs that help prevent, control, treat and relieve the disease's patient. Sharing the various steps to be taken by the Government of India under the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP), the health minister affirmed that there are actions and resources taken to combat the TB disease and reach the goal of a Tuberculosis-free India by 2025.
Before reaching the goal, the program faces many challenges: the primary lack of awareness of the disease and how it impacts health-seeking behavior. As per the reports, last year, the pandemic brought a positive and better change in the people and their need to get health information. This positive behavior gave the program to start generating awareness about TB. And as part of the understanding, the NETP program actively communicates TB awareness by reaching out to people in urban slums, trying to destigmatize the illness, and gather feedback or information and concerns of the patients. Through the community's TB awareness programs, they are ensuring that the patients have accessing care at all levels, able to seek treatments, and improve health-seeking behaviors.