XDR tuberculosis and the Indian-subcontinent: Effective prevention strategies needed

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Biological and Biomedical Sciences


The Indian-subcontinent is becoming, what could be, the next big battle ground for the control of Extensively Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (XDR-TB). The region caters to not only an ever-increasing incidence of new TB cases, but also a huge burden of already existing TB cases, thereby facing a dual threat for spread of XDR-TB. Most of the health-care facilities are devoid of essential laboratory-based infra-structure which is essential for diagnosing XDR-TB. Coupled to this is the lack of knowledge regarding TB diagnosis and treatment amongst the General Practitioners of India and Pakistan, who still treat the bulk of the TB cases. The element of AIDS is also slowly creeping into the equation. Questions have already been raised about the effectiveness of the governmental responses to curb the TB threat. What is needed right away is an effective strategy, incorporating a broad-tiered approach between the government and social sector. This can facilitate greatly in preventing further spread of these resistant strains.

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