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Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program

The Government of India initiated Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) in an endeavour to control the tuberculosis in the country. it includes treatments by way of  OTS - directly observed treatment-short course (DOTS), a globally accepted strategy to control TB as per WHO norms as part of the programme, free drugs to counter TB cases across the country is administered through various Primary Health Centres and also recently even private organisations are made part of the DOTS administration.

Components of RNTCP

In order to control TB, in addition to DOTS- the widely accepted anti TB strategy, additional ingredients TB control partnerships are being implemented.

The following components formed part of the RNTCP programme initially:

    • Administrative commitment through political will
    • Sputum smear microscopy was adopted to assure qualitative diagnosis
    • Proper supply of drugs to control TB which included drugs for Short Course chemotherapy
    • Treatment was monitored directly
    • Phase wise accountability and monitoring processes

Later on in the year 2006, the stop TB was announced by the World Health Organisation which was adopted by the RNTCP which have the following components:

    • Enhancement and expansion of quality DOTS
    • Properly addressing the cases with  MDR-TB and TB/HIV
    • Making efforts towards strengthening the health systems
    • Administrative support by engaging the care providers for all related purposes
    • Knowledge sharing and creating awareness to the communities and patients
    • Carrying out research and promoting the same in the field of TB control that includes treatment, diagnosis and vaccination

Under the complete STOP TB initiative, the RNTCP has undertaken numerous initiatives such as taking up the feasibility study of National Airborne Infection Control guidelines, spearheading the action plan for 'Practical Approach to Lung Health' and many more.

Diagnosis of Pulmonary TB under RNTCP

To treat pulmonary Tuberculosis, preliminarily the tests are conducted based on sputum smear technology and then X-rays are administered to study the diagnostic algorithm.

For standard diagnostic mechanism, the Ziehl-Neelsen technique is used to collect samples for two days. This is done by collecting the smaples from chest which is identified by cough for two weeks or more. This assures that the test sensitivity of 99% is assures.

The focus of RNTCP is mainly laid on pulmonary TB as there are chances of spread of TB through cough in the community. Mild focus is also laid on other forms of TB under this programme.



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