News: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has launched a scheme for universal screening of children below 18 years for leprosy and tuberculosis (TB). It is a part of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)
About Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)
- It was launched in 2013 under the National Health Mission. It is implemented by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
- Aim: early identification and early intervention for children from birth to 18 years to cover 4 ‘D’s viz. Defects at birth, Deficiencies, Diseases, Development delays including disability.
- Child Health Screening and Early Intervention Services under RBSK covers 30 selected health conditions for screening, early detection and free management. Tuberculosis and Leprosy were previously not a part of it.
- Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease is a chronic neuro-muscular disorder. It is caused by several strains of Mycobacterium leprae.
- It can be cured with Multi-Drug Therapy (MDT).
Status of Leprosy in India:
- In 2005, India achieved the goal of elimination of leprosy as a public health problem, defined by WHO as less than 1 case per 10,000 population.
- All states except Chhattisgarh and the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli have eliminated leprosy. However, 1.15 lakh to 1.2 lakh new leprosy cases are still detected annually
- National Leprosy Eradication Programme was launched in 1983 with an objective to arrest the disease activity in all the known cases of leprosy and eventually eliminate leprosy.
- Global leprosy strategy 2016-2020: It has been launched by WHO. It aims at a) zero children with leprosy-affected disabilities by 2020 and b) reduction of new patients diagnosed with leprosy-related deformities to >1 per million population
About Tuberculosis (TB)
- TB is an infectious airborne bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- When TB infection becomes resistant to the first line of treatment — isoniazid and rifampicin, it is called Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). When the infection becomes resistant even to the second-line treatment it is called Extensively-drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB)
Status of TB in India
- The WHO 2018 Global TB Report says that India has the highest burden of TB and multi-drug-resistant TB (MDR-TB)
- TB kills an estimated 4, 80,000 Indians every year — an average over 1,300 every day.
- The Indian government has put forward National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB Elimination, 2017-2025. The plan is a framework to provide guidance for the activities of various stakeholders to reduce the burden of TB mortality and morbidity.
- In 2018, the government launched the TB Free India campaign to take activities under NSP for TB Elimination. The campaign seeks to eliminate TB in India by 2025
- SDG 3.3: It calls to eliminate TB by 2030
- WHO End TB Strategy: It aims to end the global TB epidemic, with targets to reduce TB deaths by 95% and to cut new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035