October 1   2015, Thursday
Dear leaders

I am myself a medical teacher with 30 years’ experience and was the professor and Head, Dept. of Neurosurgery in medical college Trivandrum. Hence, the interests of medical teachers are definitely my concerns too.

IMA has been spending a lot of time on medical education. IMA could engage the parliamentary committee on issues related to medical education for 4 hours, recently. Our suggestions on reforms on medical education were given much importance by the committee members. The number of postgraduates that we are producing is much less compared to the number of graduates passing out (around 45,000 per annum). In other countries, 40-60% of graduates get admitted to PG courses. In the Govt. health sector, if 15% posts of MBBS doctors are lying vacant, a much higher 70% of specialist posts are also lying vacant. Vacancies in medical colleges are still higher.

We have to look at our larger responsibility of increasing undergraduate seats, and particularly postgraduate seats by starting more medical colleges in states where the medical college-population ratio is less. Even converting district hospitals into medical colleges may be required.

There is a need to relax the strict norms for increasing undergraduate and postgraduate seats. Some of the reforms are towards that end. IMA has demanded setting up of a medical grants commission to look into salary and career advancements for teachers and for better facilities in medical colleges including for research.

IMA has also demanded an accreditation committee to look into the quality and standards of medical graduates passing out, rather than imposing exit tests once they pass out.


Prof Dr A Marthanda Pillai
National President, IMA
Breaking news
Heart diseases most common cause of death

Urban Indian female in the age group of 30-45 years have emerged as an ‘at risk population’ for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), with 95 per cent of them falling in the overweight/obese category according to results of a study, reports The Hindu. Cardiologist Dr. J.P.S. Sawhney speaking about it says: “Cardiovascular (CVD) diseases in women are slowly gaining epidemic proportions.”The research conducted in 10 leading metro and non-metro cities of India saw the participation of 1,299 urban Indian females in the age group of 30-45 years.

Cardiologist Dr. K.K. Aggarwal adds that the Indian urban women are more at risk of heart disease today than they were three years ago. The reasons for this include an unhealthy lifestyle characterised by a predominantly high trans fat, sugar and salt diet, inadequate physical exercise, increased stress levels, dependence on addictive and extremely harmful substances like alcohol and cigarettes, amongst others. The largest groups of women at risk of CVD are aged between 35 and 44. “CVD risk is as high amongst housewives as it is amongst working professionals. As far as risk factors for CVD are concerned, low HDL and high BMI are the two most common contributors to CVD risk setting in as early as 35 years for women,” he added… (Source: Bindu Shajan Perappadan, The Hindu, New Delhi, September 29, 2015)
Dr Good Dr Bad
Situation: A 45–year–old male came with chest pain and normal ECG.
Dr Bad: Take antacids.
Dr Good: It can be a cardiac pain.
Lesson: ECG can be normal in the first six hours of acute heart attack.
Specialty Updates
  1. A new meta-analysis supports previous data that using a hormone therapy to suppress ovarian function temporarily during cancer treatment can preserve fertility. The findings were presented at the European Cancer Congress (ECC) 2015, and were published simultaneously in the Annals of Oncology.
  2. Based on recent data from the CAPiTA trial showing both decreased episodes of community acquired pneumonia and a reduction of invasive pneumococcal disease, the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently updated the vaccination schedule to include both PPSV23 and PCV13 (Prevnar 13) for those aged ≥65 years.
  3. The investigational drug ocrelizumab significantly reduces progression of clinical disability compared with placebo in patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis, suggest topline results of a pivotal phase 3 study (ORATORIO).
  4. Greater cumulative exposure to metformin may increase height by a mean of approximately 1 cm in children and adolescents receiving metformin compared with peers who do not receive the drug, suggests a new study published online September 28 in JAMA Pediatrics.
  5. People with type 1 diabetes have a substantially increased risk of heart failure, according to a Swedish study published online September 18 in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. The research also found that poor glycemic control and impaired renal function increase the risk of heart failure in this form of diabetes.
  6. Certain rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients doing well on etanercept and methotrexate may be able to quit the latter agent if they have tolerability problems, according to an open-label Canadian study reported in Rheumatology.
  7. Adding aripiprazole (Abilify, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co, Ltd), an atypical antipsychotic drug, to the antidepressant venlafaxine (multiple brands) boosts the rate of remission in older patients with treatment-resistant depression, according to a new study in the Lancet. The benefits of this treatment combination outweigh the increased risk for akathisia (very bothersome inner restlessness) and Parkinsonism.
  8. Results of a new study in the October 6, 2015 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology show that a long-term cardiovascular health promotion program initiated in preschool with children as young as 3 years old had a significant beneficial effect on lifestyle-related behaviors and measures of adiposity.
  9. Those who follow a Mediterranean diet have higher levels of health-promoting short-chain fatty acids in their gut, suggests new research published in the journal Gut.
  10. Dr. Jorge L. Alio and colleagues from Vissum Corporación and Universidad Miguel Hernández in Alicante report in the British Journal of Ophthalmology that photoreactive keratectomy (PRK) is safe for treating myopia, but its efficacy diminishes with time.
Indigenous diagnostic technologies to diagnose TB and MDR/XDR-TB

As a part of a joint initiative of Dept of Bio-technology (DBT), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) andMinistry of Health & Family Welfare (MOH & FW), an ‘Expert Group’ has been constituted under Chairmanship of Sec. DHR & DG, ICMR which evaluates the potential TB diagnostic kit. The aim is to promote Indigenous diagnostic technologies for diagnosis of TB and MDR/XDR–TB” developed by Indian scientists/companies. Two diagnostic tests have been shortlisted for validation. (Source: http://www.icmr.nic.in/
Make sure
Situation: A patient with Chikungunya had persistent joint pain.
Reaction: Oh my God! Why was hydroxychloroquine not given?
Lesson: Make sure that all patients with post Chikungunya arthritis are treated with hydroxychloroquine to reduce disability.
Facts about Soul and the Spirit
  • Energy is the raw material of the universe.
  • Information is the organization of energy into reproducible patterns.
  • Consciousness is living information and energy (living energized information)
  • Consciousness is, therefore, intelligence.
  • Intelligence is information and energy that has self–referral or the ability to learn through experiences and the ability to reinterpret and influence one’s own information and energy states.
  • Consciousness is live, advanced, software–driven energized information.
Closest example: Advanced computer software which can type, correct, interpret, edit and store spoken or read information.
Financial health check
  • Does one have a fund for emergencies?
  • Is one’s income protected properly?
  • Doctors have good earning potential – does their bank recognize that?
  • How much does one need to save for a deposit on a property?
  • Do doctors understand the different mortgage options?
(Source: Financial Management for Doctors. IJCP)
Private Healthcare providers to embrace IT in 2015, expected to invest $1.2 bn: According to Anurag Gupta, Research VP, Gartner, private healthcare providers - hospitals, ambulatory service and physicians’ practices - are expected to spend $1.2 billion on IT products and services in 2015 and thus give boost to ICT Market. Investment is expected to rise in internal services, software, IT services, data centre, devices and telecom services. IT services, which includes consulting, implementation, IT outsourcing (ITO) and business process outsourcing (BPO). (Source: The Economic Times)

PM Modi’s US visit boosts start-ups in India: San Jose: Seven MOUs were signed between various organisations of India and the US during the recently concluded visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US. In order to encourage science based entrepreneurship, research, academia and businesses, the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms and the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences signed the first MoU to develop Indo-US Life Science Sister Innovation Hub. (Source: The Economic Times- PTI)

Small-town startups help resolve local issues through tech, social ventures: Pune: Start-ups in smaller towns are turning to technology to resolve the diverse problems faced by people in daily life, which start-ups in metros do not and are thus drawing the attention of investors and accelerators. Notable collaborations are Deshpande Foundation and Microsoft Ventures to launch Sandbox Start-up’s, a Hubli-based incubator that will focus on start-ups in tier-II and III towns. Another organization based in Nagpur is Lemon Ideas, which mentors start-ups in smaller towns of Maharashtra. (Source: The Economic Times- Vasumita S Adarsh)

Remedinet and Bajaj Allianz to join hands to provide cashless health insurance: Remedinet Technologies, and Bajaj Allianz will come together, to simplify real time cashless health insurance claims processing and significantly bring down the turnaround time to benefit the policyholders tremendously. This integration will eliminate manual methods of processing data, as processes done manually are prone to errors and delays leading to a higher turnaround time. (Source: EH News Bureau)

PD Hinduja Hospital and MDRI partner to benefit patients with life-threatening blood diseases: PD Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre signed a MoU with the Marrow Donor Registry of India (MDRI) to facilitate smoother blood stem cell transplants for patients with life-threatening blood diseases thus becoming an apheresis centre in the city for harvesting (collecting) peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC) from voluntary donors. According to Gautam Khanna, CEO, PD Hinduja & MRC, along with growing demand for stem cell transplants there were shortage of qualified collection centres across the country and thus there was an urgent need to get associated with an organization that maintained a computerized database of voluntary, unrelated stem cell donors. (Source: EH News Bureau)
In an initiative, under the ‘Call to Action for a TB-Free India’ Campaign, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India, Indian Medical Association and The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) join hands to pledge support for a TB-free India
Inspirational Story
The wooden bowl A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law and a four-year old grandson. The old man’s hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together every night at the dinner table. But the elderly grandfather’s shaky hands and failing sight made eating rather difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor. When he grasped the glass often milk spilled on the tablecloth.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. “We must do something about grandfather,” said the son. I’ve had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor. So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner at the dinner table. Since grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. Sometimes when the family glanced in grandfather’s direction, he had a tear in his eye as he ate alone. Still, the only words the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child sweetly, “What are you making?” Just as sweetly, the boy responded, “Oh, I am making the bowl for you and mama to eat.” The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless. Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took grandfather’s hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family. And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth soiled.

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb. If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day those building blocks are being laid for the child’s future. Let us all be wise builders and role models. Take care of yourself, and those you love, today, and every day!

A man is driving down a country road, when he spots Santu standing in the middle of a huge field of grass.
He pulls the car over to the side of the road and notices that Santu is just standing there, doing nothing, looking at nothing. The man gets out of the car, walks all the way out to our Santu and asks him, "Ah excuse me sir, but what are you doing?"

Santu replies, "I'm trying to win a Nobel Prize." "How?" asks the man, puzzled. "Well I heard they give the Nobel Prize to people who are outstanding in their field."
Achieving Privacy and confidentiality in day to day practice- an ethical dilemma

Pragya Sharma
Lecturer, Dept. of Clinical Psychology
Smita N Deshpande
Head, Dept. of Psychiatry,
De-addiction Services
PGIMER- Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia
Hospital, New Delhi

Doctors in busy settings face an ethical dilemma. Maintenance of confidentiality and privacy becomes problematic due to the use of shared rooms. At times, the patient hesitates to share medical information due to this fact. More funds and better infrastructure may not always be possible. What is your preferred solution in such circumstances?

a) Ignore the issue as sharing information is culturally acceptable in India

b) Acknowledge overcrowding, try to make the patient comfortable within the shared setting

c) Extend work hours, push back appointments to ensure one patient per room at a time

d) Whisper/ talk in low voices

Do write in with your views and solutions.

Here are the responses received
  • I will go for a) Ignore the issue, as sharing information is culturally acceptable in India unless someone specifically asks for not sharing a small part of information. Saranya Devanathan, Psychiatrist
  • I think we cannot see 2 or 3 patients in one room. The patient’s right of privacy cannot be compromised for any reason. Each patient should be interviewed in a single room, and the patient and the family members should also be seen separately at least once and as and when needed. Infrastructural issues cannot be the excuse for inefficient treatment. Prof. Anil Agarwal, Psychiatrist
  • Lack of infrastructure is not an excuse for not observing privacy and confidentiality Patients should be seen alone as well as with family members. Prof. Satish Malik
  • Explain that the other person too is a doctor like me and assure that she would maintain confidentiality. Sudhakar Bhat, Psychiatrist
  • It is very difficult to provide a separate place and extending work hours may not be possible for doctors. They can talk in low voices and make the patient as comfortable as possible. If the issue really demands confidentiality like HIV or any other which patient is not at all confident to discuss in overcrowded situations, then extra time can be given after the crowding hours. Respecting the privacy of the patient is very important. Triptish Bhatia, Principal Investigator, GRIP-NIH, USA Project, Dept. of Psychiatry, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, New Delhi
Breaking news
Pharmacy retailers oppose online pharmacy sales

Pharmacy retailers have come out strongly against online sale of medicines in any format, reports the Business Standard. In their comments to the committee constituted by the health ministry to examine the issue, the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) stated that online pharmacy sales would be entirely illegal in the context of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the Information Technology Act. The AIOCD says it represents 750,000 chemists and druggists. To ensure this, the Act lays emphasis on licensing and compliance with licensing conditions. “The condition of licences is such that they provide safeguard to the patients, so that he/she does not resort to self-medication and takes medicine only as prescribed by a registered practitioner,” the organisation has said. Also said that Rule 65 (10) of the Drugs and Cosmetic Rules do not recognise a prescription in electronic form or a scanned copy or photocopy or prescription forwarded through mobile apps…..(Source: Ajay Modi, Business Standard, New Delhi, September 30, 2015)
IMA National Protest Day
Dear Leaders

Indian Medical Association has represented to the Prime Minister, Health Minister, Law Minister and Consumer affairs minister on various professional issues on multiple occasions since January 2015 and the government has acknowledged receipt of these representations. IMA officials did meet health minister and law minister when invited to discuss some of these issues, at least 3 to 4 times. Both the ministers acknowledge that our demands are right but no action has been taken so far on these issues. Since these issues are very vital to give the doctors an atmosphere to practice with dignity and safety, to serve the public effectively postponing decision on these issues will not be in the best interest of the profession and public health. IMA feels that doors of justice are closed and is forced to show our solidarity to achieve these goals on 16th November 2015.

A draft of the status paper on these issues is posted to you for your valuable comments and suggestions so that the demands can be finalised to be given to the government concerned ministries MPs, MLAs, Parliamentary committee on health and other peoples representatives for their awareness and support.

The CWC meeting has finalized 6 demands for the profession and 3 for the public. Although there are many other issues, it is only pertinent that our major and common issues are made as our demands. Other issues concerning medical education etc has already been taken up separately. Putting too many demands for a protest day will be counterproductive.

Warm regards

Prof Dr A Marthanda Pillai                  Dr KK Aggarwal
National President              Honorary Secretary General
IMA                                      IMA

Click here to read the Status paper on National Protest Day
MCI Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002

1.2 Maintaining good medical practice

1.2.1 The Principal objective of the medical profession is to render service to humanity with full respect for the dignity of profession and man. Physicians should merit the confidence of patients entrusted to their care, rendering to each a full measure of service and devotion. Physicians should try continuously to improve medical knowledge and skills and should make available to their patients and colleagues the benefits of their professional attainments. The physician should practice methods of healing founded on scientific basis and should not associate professionally with anyone who violates this principle. The honoured ideals of the medical profession imply that the responsibilities of the physician extend not only to individuals but also to society.
10 things all gastroenterologists should know about celiac disease
  1. The immunoglobulin A tissue transglutaminase is the single best serologic test to use for the detection of CD.
  2. CD can be recognized endoscopically, and water immersion enhances villi detection, although a normal endoscopic appearance does not preclude the diagnosis.
  3. It is recommended that 4 biopsies be taken from the second part of the duodenum and 2 bulb biopsies be taken at the 9 o'clock and 12 o'clock positions to maximize the sensitivity for histologic confirmation of CD.
  4. Consider serologic testing of first-degree relatives, patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, Down's, Turner's, and Williams' syndromes, as well as those with premature osteoporosis, iron deficiency, abnormal liver biochemistries, and other manifestations of CD.
  5. Patients already on a prolonged gluten-free diet (GFD) should be tested for the presence of HLA DQ2 or DQ8, thereby avoiding the need for further evaluation of CD in non-allelic carriers.
  6. The basic treatment of CD is a strict, lifelong GFD, enabled by an expert dietitian.
  7. Newly diagnosed adults with CD should be assessed for micronutrient deficiencies (iron, B12, folate, zinc, copper), fat soluble vitamin deficiencies (vitamin D), and bone densitometry.
  8. All patients diagnosed with CD should have clinical follow-up to ensure response and adherence to a GFD.
  9. In those with persistent or relapsing symptoms, the robustness of the original diagnosis should be reviewed, gluten exposure sought, and a systematic evaluation for alternative and associated diseases performed.
  10. Evaluate those with refractory disease for malignant transformation. (Medscape)
Safety Alerts List of Drugs, Medical Devices and Cosmetics declared as Not of Standard Quality/Spurious/Adulterated/Misbranded for the Month of August 2015

GP Tip: Vomiting after chloroquine tablets

One of the commonest mistake done in practice is to repeat chloroquine after a patient vomits. Chloroquine is absorbed in circulation within 15 minutes. If the vomiting occurs after 15 minutes there is no need to repeat chloroquine. (Source: IJCP)
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

In a press release, the World health Organization has welcomed the launch of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and has pledged its commitment to work with partners to achieve these new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There are 17 SDGs and 169 targets, which build on the Millennium Development Goals. Issues such as poverty eradication, health, education, food security and nutrition continue to be priorities, but these new SDGs also include economic, social and environmental objectives, as well as the promise of more peaceful and inclusive societies.

SDG 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, profiles health as a desirable outcome in its own right. Importantly, however, health is also presented as an input to other goals, and a reliable measure of how well sustainable development is progressing in general.

The health goal itself includes new targets for key issues on which major progress has been made under the MDGs. The new goal includes targets for tackling noncommunicable diseases. It also covers health security; reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health; infectious diseases and universal health coverage.
(Source: http://www.who.int
About 10% of pregnant women in the US drink alcohol

According to a report in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), one in 10 (10.2%) pregnant women in the United States aged 18 to 44 years reports drinking alcohol in the past 30 days; 3.1% of pregnant women also report binge drinking (≥4 alcoholic beverages on one occasion). According to Coleen Boyle, Ph.D., director of CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, this is an important reminder that women should not drink any alcohol while pregnant. As alcohol use during pregnancy can cause birth defects and developmental disabilities in babies and other pregnancy complications.
(Source: http://www.cdc.gov/
eMedi Quiz
Interscalene approach to brachial plexus block does not provide optimal surgical anaesthesia in the area of distribution of which of the following nerve:

1. Musculocutaneous.
2. Ulnar
3. Radial
4. Median.

Yesterday’s Mind Teaser: In all of the following conditions neuraxial blockade is absolutely contraindicated, except:

1. Patient refusal.
2. Coagulopathy
3. Severe hypovolemia.
4. Pre-existing neurological deficits.

Answer for Yesterday’s Mind Teaser: 4. Pre-existing neurological deficits.
Answers received from: Dr Jainendra Upadhyay, Dr Poonam Chablani, Dr.J.Daivadheenam, Dr.K.V.Sarma, Dr Avtar Krishan, Dr.K.Raju
Answer for 29th September Mind Teaser: 1.Mapleson A.
Correct Answers received from: Dr.Bitan Sen & Dr.Jayashree Sen.
Press Release
TB Harega, Desh Jeetega

Private Health Sector pledge support for a TB-Free India

The Central TB Division, MoHFW, Indian Medical Association (IMA) and The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) jointly organized a “Private Health Sector Dialogue towards a TB Free India” on 29th September 2015 at The Park, New Delhi. The event helped in initiating a dialogue with various National Medical Associations and effectively engaging them in supporting the Revised National TB Control Programme.

Around 1 million of the total estimated TB cases in India remain unaccounted for each year. Many of these are likely being managed in the private health sector, which is the first point of contact for a majority of people seeking care for TB. The Private Health Sector Dialogue was organized to call for Professional Medical & Allied Associations to join the TB-Free India campaign and help reach the “missing” TB cases. IMA is supporting the Call to Action for a TB Free India and partnering with MoHFW, GoI and The Union to accelerate progress towards the collective goal of ending TB in India. Representatives from more than 30 Professional Medical Associations such as TB Association of India ( TBAI), Federation of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists of India (FOGSI), Association of Surgeons of India (ASI), Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP), Association of Physicians of India (API), Indian Chest Society, National College of Chest Physicians (NCCP, Indian Fertility Society Trained Nurses Association of India, Ayurveda Medical Association of India, Homeopathy Medical association of India, SEARPharm Forum, Nursing Research Society of India and Indian Association of Medical Microbiologists (IAMM) met to discuss the collaborative role of private health sector in achieving the goal of a TB-Free India.

Dr Jagdish Prasad- Director General Health Services, Government of India; Shri Anshu Prakash (IAS), Joint Secretary – MoHFW; Dr Sunil D Khaparde, DDG TB – Central TB Division, Dr. A. Marthanda Pillai, National President, Indian Medical Association Dr K K Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, Indian Medical Association, Mr. Xerses Sidhwa, Deputy Director, Health Office, USAID India called upon Private practitioners to come forth with scope & solutions and help India meet the goals of the End TB strategy.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jagdish Prasad- DGHS, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, said “It is difficult for Govt. of India to fight alone the menace of TB. I am happy with the support extended by The Union, IMA and USAID in the area of TB Control & Care. We need the support of the private health sector to be able to reach the missing patients. If we can have wide participation of private practitioners in our mission, we are sure to realise the dream of TB Free India.” DDG TB, Dr Sunil Khaparde, highlighted the fact that Government wants universal access to TB Care and is willing to prepare an enabling environment and a collaborative platform for all stakeholders to come together and contribute to this. Focusing on the need for private sector involvement, Shri Anshu Prakash (IAS), Joint Secretary – MoHFW lauded the role played by the Private Health Practitioners and called upon a more concerted effort to notify each and every case of TB. Shri Prakash said, “STCI was formulated after extensive consultation with professionals and experts. The need of the hour is extensive sensitization of all health professionals to ensure that standard protocols/ regimens of treatment are followed across the country.”

Mr. Xerses Sidhwa, Deputy Director, Health Office, USAID India said that he is encouraged by the incredible participation of multiple professional associations of health practitioners. He said that USAID is committed to support the Government in its endeavours to make India TB Free and offered to partner with IMA and other associations to further the effort. Besides the Call to Action for a TB Free India, USAID is also supporting other efforts and a range of initiatives in making India TB Free. Dr A. Marthanda Pillai, National President, Indian Medical Association Dr K K Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General, Indian Medical Association in a joint statement that to eliminate TB all the doctors from all the National Medical associations should adhere to a common TB protocol. Every TB case should be notified so that all contacts of TB cases can be traced. Dr. Jamie Tonsing- Regional Director, The Union, added: “We are very glad to be partnering with the IMA to initiate this dialogue. We hope to leverage the influence of IMA and other national professional associations to align private health sector actions towards a TB-Free India.”

30 Professional Medical and Allied Associations committed action and pledged support for a TB Free India.

The Union South-East Asia Office has been tasked to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) flagship program for TB, Challenge TB in India. The Call to Action for a TB-Free India Is the key focus of the Challenge TB project in India. For more information, visit www.theunion.org and www.challengetb.org.

TB in India

Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be one of India’s greatest health challenges. Despite an extensive Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP), with nation-wide coverage being in place for nearly a decade, India continues to bear a high burden of TB - an estimated 2.1 million incident cases and 278,000 TB deaths each year. Additionally, around 61,000 cases of TB among notified pulmonary TB cases are estimated to have multi drug resistant TB (DR-TB) each year (WHO Global TB Report 2014). The End TB strategy aims to reduce deaths due to TB by 95% ( base year 2015), a 90% reduction in TB incidence rate and zero affected families facing catastrophic costs due to TB by 2035. The vision of the End TB Strategy is a world free of TB: Zero TB deaths, Zero TB disease, and Zero TB suffering. These are ambitious goals that can only be delivered if all sections of society take definitive steps towards meeting them.
Digital IMA