Express View on Lancet TB study: Food for cure

Source– The post is based on the article “Express View on Lancet TB study: Food for cure” published in “The Indian Express” on 10th August 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Issues related to development and management of health

Relevance: Issues related to TB

News– Recently, a Lancet study underlines the need to improve nutrition of TB patients.

How undernutrition is the primary risk factor associated with tuberculosis?

The connection between diet and the illness is supported by the historical public health records of Europe and North America. The prevalence of TB notably declined when people began to consume better diets.

In India, modeling studies have indicated that addressing undernutrition can decrease TB cases by more than 70 percent.

A recent study published in the medical journal Lancet provides evidence that a nutritious diet reduces the occurrence of tuberculosis among vulnerable individuals and also diminishes mortality rates in TB patients.

This study, conducted in Jharkhand, reveals that early weight gain in individuals impacted by TB reduces the mortality risk by 60 percent.

Tuberculosis (TB) and the medications diminish the appetite of patients. Fever raises the rate at which calories are burned. In severe cases, the illness leads to “wasting” or low weight-for-height conditions.

A patient who has recovered from TB but continues to have a poor diet is at a significant risk of relapse.

What are some facts related to Nikshay Poshan Yojana?

The National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) has launched the Nikshay Poshan Yojana.

It provides Rs 500 per month to individuals diagnosed with TB. However, this amount is widely considered insufficient.

According to NTEP guidelines, a tuberculosis patient should ideally consume 2,800 calories daily.

Experts argue that eradicating TB necessitates enhancing the living conditions of patients and their families.

This program has encountered numerous systemic challenges.

A 2020 study published in the Indian Journal of Tuberculosis revealed that healthcare providers faced difficulties due to inadequate training and complicated reporting formats. It hinders the effective implementation of the scheme.

Moreover, limited patient awareness has also restricted the reach of the nutritional program.

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