Photos: India strives to curb the occurrence and spread of tuberculosis

A major killer in the West until the mid-twentieth century, tuberculosis remains a menace in developing countries like India, with 2.7 million new cases of the disease last year. The country is home to more than a quarter of the world's cases of the ‘poor man’s disease,’ which spreads easily in India's crowded cities, where immune systems are often already weakened by air pollution or poor sanitary conditions. To combat the disease, the government has created new patient monitoring systems and recently enlisted artificial intelligence to help screen for the disease. NGOs have also stepped up by providing patients with medication.

Updated On Oct 12, 2019 04:28 PM IST
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Tuberculosis (TB) patients wait for their turn to get their daily dose of medicine at a DOTS (directly observed treatment, short-course) centre in New Delhi. India continues to grapple with the disease, becoming home to a quarter of TB cases worldwide. To fight the disease, the government has set an ambitious target of overcoming the TB “epidemic” by 2025. Even though the goal seems unachievable, NGOs are providing patients with services to cure them. (Money Sharma / AFP)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 04:28 PM IST

Tuberculosis (TB) patients wait for their turn to get their daily dose of medicine at a DOTS (directly observed treatment, short-course) centre in New Delhi. India continues to grapple with the disease, becoming home to a quarter of TB cases worldwide. To fight the disease, the government has set an ambitious target of overcoming the TB “epidemic” by 2025. Even though the goal seems unachievable, NGOs are providing patients with services to cure them. (Money Sharma / AFP)

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A TB patient marks his attendance before getting his daily dose of medicine at a DOTS centre. Transmitted by droplets of saliva when a contaminated person speaks or coughs, TB spreads easily in crowded cities, where immune systems are often already weakened by air pollution or poor sanitary conditions. The bacterium mainly attacks the men who make up much of the workforce, with the death or incapacitation of a breadwinner piling additional misery on families. (Money Sharma / AFP)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 04:28 PM IST

A TB patient marks his attendance before getting his daily dose of medicine at a DOTS centre. Transmitted by droplets of saliva when a contaminated person speaks or coughs, TB spreads easily in crowded cities, where immune systems are often already weakened by air pollution or poor sanitary conditions. The bacterium mainly attacks the men who make up much of the workforce, with the death or incapacitation of a breadwinner piling additional misery on families. (Money Sharma / AFP)

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A patient is given his daily dose of medicine by a nurse at a DOTS centre. Last year, about 2.7 million new cases of TB emerged in the country. A major killer in the West until the mid-twentieth century, the disease remains a menace in developing countries and killed 4,21,000 in India in 2017 according to the World Health Organization -- more than AIDS and malaria combined. (Money Sharma / AFP)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 04:28 PM IST

A patient is given his daily dose of medicine by a nurse at a DOTS centre. Last year, about 2.7 million new cases of TB emerged in the country. A major killer in the West until the mid-twentieth century, the disease remains a menace in developing countries and killed 4,21,000 in India in 2017 according to the World Health Organization -- more than AIDS and malaria combined. (Money Sharma / AFP)

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A patient holds his daily dose of medicine at a DOTS centre. The government of Narendra Modi, which came to power promising development for the nation’s 1.3 billion people, has set an ambitious target of overcoming India’s TB “epidemic” -- the world’s largest -- by 2025. It has created new patient monitoring systems and recently enlisted artificial intelligence to help screen for the disease. (Money Sharma / AFP)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 04:28 PM IST

A patient holds his daily dose of medicine at a DOTS centre. The government of Narendra Modi, which came to power promising development for the nation’s 1.3 billion people, has set an ambitious target of overcoming India’s TB “epidemic” -- the world’s largest -- by 2025. It has created new patient monitoring systems and recently enlisted artificial intelligence to help screen for the disease. (Money Sharma / AFP)

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The government’s call to arms “is not just rhetoric,” said Dr Jamhoih Tonsing of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, noting that the budget for TB in India has doubled between 2016 and 2018. But its timetable is too ambitious. TB incidence in India is currently declining by about two percent each year, and to reach the 2025 target, the decline has to be at least 10 per cent per year, he said. (Money Sharma / AFP)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 04:28 PM IST

The government’s call to arms “is not just rhetoric,” said Dr Jamhoih Tonsing of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, noting that the budget for TB in India has doubled between 2016 and 2018. But its timetable is too ambitious. TB incidence in India is currently declining by about two percent each year, and to reach the 2025 target, the decline has to be at least 10 per cent per year, he said. (Money Sharma / AFP)

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A patient consumes her daily dose of medicine at a DOTS centre. “TB continues to be predominantly a poor man’s disease,” said Shibu Vijayan, Global TB Technical Director at PATH, an NGO. Poorly administered anti-TB drugs or treatments interrupted before their term are a major worry for health workers, and responsible for the spread of multidrug-resistant strains of the disease. (Money Sharma / AFP)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 04:28 PM IST

A patient consumes her daily dose of medicine at a DOTS centre. “TB continues to be predominantly a poor man’s disease,” said Shibu Vijayan, Global TB Technical Director at PATH, an NGO. Poorly administered anti-TB drugs or treatments interrupted before their term are a major worry for health workers, and responsible for the spread of multidrug-resistant strains of the disease. (Money Sharma / AFP)

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A doctor collects a blood sample from a suspected TB patient. The WHO has noticed a form of TB resistant to traditional medicines that has a mortality rate of 50 percent -- comparable to that of Ebola, highlighting the challenges that remain even after the progress made against TB in recent decades. There are an estimated 6,00,000 multidrug resistant TB cases worldwide -- and 1,35,000 in India alone. (Money Sharma / AFP)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 04:28 PM IST

A doctor collects a blood sample from a suspected TB patient. The WHO has noticed a form of TB resistant to traditional medicines that has a mortality rate of 50 percent -- comparable to that of Ebola, highlighting the challenges that remain even after the progress made against TB in recent decades. There are an estimated 6,00,000 multidrug resistant TB cases worldwide -- and 1,35,000 in India alone. (Money Sharma / AFP)

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A patient waits for his turn at a DOTS centre. With an estimated 6,00,000 multidrug resistant TB cases worldwide -- and 1,35,000 in India -- “we created a monster,” says Sandeep Ahuja, co-founder of Operation ASHA, an NGO. But, the renewed campaign in India is a cause for optimism. “We have created the demon, let’s go out and cap it,” he says. “The numbers are still manageable... We have enough equipment in our arsenal.” (Money Sharma / AFP)
Updated on Oct 12, 2019 04:28 PM IST

A patient waits for his turn at a DOTS centre. With an estimated 6,00,000 multidrug resistant TB cases worldwide -- and 1,35,000 in India -- “we created a monster,” says Sandeep Ahuja, co-founder of Operation ASHA, an NGO. But, the renewed campaign in India is a cause for optimism. “We have created the demon, let’s go out and cap it,” he says. “The numbers are still manageable... We have enough equipment in our arsenal.” (Money Sharma / AFP)

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