Pune: With the hope of eliminating Tuberculosis (TB), the finance minister on Thursday allocated Rs 600 crore for extending nutritional support to the patients in the country, which got a mixed response from doctors.
Dr Abhijeet Vaidya, National President of Arogya Sena, said, “More than the nutritional health, TB patients in the country need medicines at lower cost for which the government has done nothing. This means that the allocation will not really help patients. Moreover, Rs 500 per month per patient will not be enough as one cannot self-provide cereals or eggs in their diet with such minimal funds.”
However, supporting the allocation, Dr Ajit Kulkarni, Pulmonologist at Jehangir Hospital said that nutrition plays a very important role in curing tuberculosis. “What’s important even though the amount is small, we have a government thinking of healthcare beyond medicines,” he said.
“Even a monthly amount of Rs 500 allows a patient to have two eggs a day and this will definitely help the patients recover faster and overcome TB. This to me, is also a multi-pronged approach by the government to reduce such cases and incidence. Spitting in public, poor hygiene, poor eating habits, delayed and incorrect diagnosis and not completing the entire course of medicine are keys issues why TB flourishes,” said Kulkarni.
He also added that the government has already addressed this cycle with Swachch Bharat Abhiyan. “Now, this thrust on nutrition will help in the fight against TB along with the push of 1.5 lakh health care centres and 5 lakh medical cover per family completes the entire cycle of how far the government is going to address this problem. However, this initiative cannot just rest with the government alone and must also be taken seriously by the common man,” he added.
To achieve its goal of Tuberculosis (TB) elimination, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday allocated Rs 600 crore for nutritional support to TB patients in India.
Rs 500 will be provided to each TB patient in the country undergoing treatment, said Jaitley.
The Global TB Report 2017 released by the WHO October 2017 revealed that 64 per cent of the 10.4 million new TB cases were identified in India in 2016.