- Based on the discussion at the second GCAT Expert Group meeting the following recommendations were made to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare :
- Most recently, the RNTCP Revised approved budget was only an estimated 53 percent of the requested budget, securing 640 Crores as compared to the 1,358 Crores requested. There is an urgent need to provide the RNTCP with the requested funding in order to maintain and continue TB-related activities nationwide.
- Conduct summative evaluations (capturing process and impact) of the use of previous funding as well as the outcomes which occurred due to those investments in order to drive future TB control strategies.
- Integrate leading TB experts in India to create a consortium driving research and innovation in TB.
- Evidence has shown that policy updates must include the daily regimen of TB medications to decrease relapses of TB.
- RNTCP data shows there is a constant relapse rate of 13 percent among new smear positive cases successfully treated with intermittent treatment.
- Further studies have also shown that patients who take the daily regimen are less likely to have recurrent TB and for those patients where TB does reoccur, the duration of time in between is greater.
- Continued support for daily treatment pilot programmes and investment in scaling up the daily regimen treatment model nationwide.
- Lack of awareness is a major obstacle in the fight against TB. Campaigns such as ‘TB Harega, Desh Jeetega’ can increase awareness and education on TB, its mode of spreading, symptoms and treatment which could eventually encourage behaviour change.
- Healthcare providers must also be sensitized on key standards and protocols (e.g., the Standards for TB Care in India) related to diagnosis and treatment of TB.
- Increase funding to bolster creation and dissemination of national TB campaigns such as ‘TB Harega, Desh Jeetega’.
- Identify areas of provider sensitization to educate providers and ensure they are using standard protocols in the diagnosis and treatment of TB.
- Effective TB control can only occur if rapid and accurate diagnostics are used. Duty and taxes on key WHO-approved diagnostic tools should be waived in order to facilitate their procurement.
- Waivers for taxation and duty on WHO-approved diagnostic tools must be in place in order for Indian laboratories to efficiently procure and use accurate diagnostic tools for detection of TB.