India’s TB-Free Dream in Crisis: Severe Medication Shortage in Past Two Years

Fulfilling the dreams of a tuberculosis-free India by 2025 might remain elusive. The major reason being the shortage and unavailability of tuberculosis medicines in the country for the past two years. The scarcity of tuberculosis medicines has been detrimental to the mission. Officials attribute the delay in procurement and distribution of tuberculosis medicines to bureaucratic hurdles and inefficiencies in the purchasing process. In reality, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare procures and distributes tuberculosis medicines through its organization, the Central Medical Services Society (CMSS), which has been struggling to procure tuberculosis medicines successfully for about a year.

States Also Ineffective in Procuring Full Doses of Tuberculosis Medicines

In addition to the central government, state governments have also been ineffective in procuring tuberculosis medicines. In India, there are only 3 or 4 major pharmaceutical companies manufacturing tuberculosis medicines. These companies supply tuberculosis medicines to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare through tenders. Several states have approached these companies, only to find out that the companies don’t have a complete stock of tuberculosis medicines. Consequently, states have also not been successful in procuring tuberculosis medicines. The Maharashtra government approved a special budget of 1.6 billion rupees but has been unable to secure a wholesaler to supply tuberculosis medicines.

Disruption Due to Election Code of Conduct; Situation Worsens

The implementation of the ideal code of conduct for Lok Sabha elections has delayed work, worsening the situation. The ideal code of conduct for Lok Sabha elections has led to further deterioration as states have not issued tenders for tuberculosis medicines. In Chhattisgarh, the Chhattisgarh Medical Services Corporation has been unsuccessful in procuring tuberculosis medicines. Subsequently, the state government had to purchase tuberculosis medicines worth three lakh rupees from wholesalers. In Jharkhand, district medical officers have been instructed to submit a proposal once for the purchase of tuberculosis medicines ranging from three to four thousand rupees.

Opinion of Experts – Misconceptions Related to Tuberculosis-Free India

The incomplete network of tuberculosis diagnostics and the occurrence of missing tuberculosis cases resemble alarming scenarios. Generally, the term “Tuberculosis Free India” holds a misconception. The term “Tuberculosis Free” implies eradicating tuberculosis like polio. It’s not feasible to eliminate tuberculosis in India as the tuberculosis bacterium is airborne. Dr. Aruna Bhattacharya, Head of Academic and Research, School of Human Development, Bangalore.

Anusha Aggarwal

My name is Anusha Aggarwal. With a deep fascination for the science behind health, hair care, skin care, and body care, I'm a dedicated writer committed to helping readers achieve optimal wellness. Through years of research and personal experience, I provide expert insights into the latest trends and techniques in the beauty and wellness.