ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tuberculosis Elimination in India

History and Challenges

The Phantom Plague: How Tuberculosis Shaped History by Vidya Krishnan, India: Penguin Viking, 2022; pp 288, `799.

Tuberculosis (TB) was and continues to be widespread, causing a very high number of deaths in India. The country is home to the worlds largest burden of the disease. In the 1950s, the detailed study-based estimates of tuberculosis burden was of 2 million to 2.5 million cases and half a million deaths annually (ICMR 1959). Today, the burden had doubled (ICMR et al 2022). This is unbecoming of a country celebrating its 75th anniversary of independence with the dream of being not just a developed country but a Vishwaguru. To make matters worse, what we have is TBHIV co-infection and a rising number of drug-resistant tuberculosis cases (MoH&FW 2018). In this context, the book is an important work to understand the difficulties we might face, especially in dealing with the problem of multi-drug resistant (MDR)-TB. I hope the leaders of the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) in India read this book.

Written by a journalist, The Phantom Plague: How Tuberculosis Shaped History is a thoroughly researched work accessible to general readers. It connects the ground reality of tuberculosis disease as experienced by patients with national and international policy discourses. Grounded in relevant facts and interviews of some of the best persons presently working on TB in India and across the world, this work is an important resource for scholars in healthcare policy, law, public, urban planning, etc. 

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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