||Tuberculosis problem in India.
||INDIAN J TB 1966, 136, 85-93.
The article provides a description of the health
facilities including medical manpower available in India in the
mid-60s. Given that the population was rising by 2.2% per annum,
it was suggested that the social and sociological significance of
the increase of TB morbidity be considered in relation to population
growth. Since the Indian tubercle bacillus, while less virulent,
varied from strain to strain considerably more than in the European
countries, it was recommended that devising ways to combat TB be
based on the specific needs of the country. Over Rs. 2,000 crores
per annum was expected to be needed to combat TB in India. Therefore,
it was more cost- effective to expend funds in the prevention and
control of TB rather than used towards covering the cost of illness
and premature death.
TB control was one of the priority items in the
National Health Programmes incorporated in the successive Five-Year
Plans covering 30 years. On reviewing the earlier history of TB
Services in India, it was evident that, while the prevalence of
TB was recognised in India from 2,500 B.C., the awareness of its
existence as a major problem only occurred in the early part of
this century. The establishment of the TAI in 1939 marked the first
national voluntary effort and also when domiciliary treatment for
TB patients was first offered. The break out of the Second World
War and the aftermath of the partition of India in 1947 brought
all nation-building efforts to a standstill. Subsequently, in 1948,
the Indian Government set up a separate TB Section in the DGHS,
encouraging rededication to providing TB services; at the same time
antibiotics began to replace the use of pneumo-thorax treatment.
By the mid-60s, the TB control programme in India covered wide-ranging
activities such as Preventive Services, TB Clinics, Hospitals &
Sanatoria, Rehabilitation, Research and Health Education. The emphasis
was on providing preventive & clinical services and domiciliary,
anti-microbial activity. A description of various other anti-TB
measures taken by governmental, voluntary and international agencies
completes the review.
|KEYWORDS: SOCIAL PROBLEM; HEALTH CARE; INDIA.