Dr Lucica Ditiu, executive director, Stop TB Partnership.
Note: India is home to millions of tuberculosis (TB) patients and estimated 40 percent of Indian population is infected with TB bacteria (mostly latent).
Q: Have there been any major changes in the TB control programme in India in recent years?
There are some significant spectacular changes that happened in the meantime. There were lot of efforts by the leadership to keep the right policies in place. Among these were the major breakthroughs that TB was made notifiable, giving blood for diagnosis of TB and creation of electronic record systems for registration.
There was a steep increase in the number of multi-drug resistant (MDR)-TB cases detected and treated in India. It is one of the largest cohorts in India. However, the steps taken in last three years have been assuring. That is why we are energised. This is the reason we think that India is not just committed but also part of bigger elimination programme.
Q: What are your expectations from the health ministry's latest ‘Call to action for TB control' initiative?