One-quarter of the world’s tuberculosis cases are in India, and the disease kills one Indian every 90 seconds. But India—strong in TB research and in technological and pharmaceutical capacity—has the potential to make great progress against TB, say the authors of a June 8, 2016 article in the Huffington Post.
India has the highest number of patients with multi drug-resistant TB in the world, quality of care for TB is suboptimal, and socioeconomic factors such as poverty and malnutrition fuel the disease, wrote Madhukar Pai of McGill University and Barry Bloom, Joan L. and Julius H. Jacobson Professor of Public Health and former dean at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. But they also noted that India has been making impressive contributions in global health—such as producing most of the world’s TB and HIV medications and assuming a leadership role in childhood immunization—and that TB is now a priority for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“With strong financial and political commitment from Prime Minister Modi, engagement of both public and private sectors, and continued engagement with the U.S. and other partners, India can not only beat TB, but lead the world in our quest to end the TB epidemic,” Pai and Bloom wrote.