The Union Budget on Thursday set aside Rs.500 per month for TB patients to supplement their nutritional needs under universal health coverage.
The ministry of health and family welfare, in its national strategic plan for tuberculosis elimination by 2025, had set a goal of achieving rapid decline in TB cases and related morbidity and mortality.
Universal health coverage will also include other communicable and infectious diseases. Noting that tuberculosis claims more lives every year than any other infectious disease, Jaitley said it affects mainly poor and malnourished people.
“We have decided to allocate additional Rs.600 crore to provide nutritional support to all TB patients at the rate of Rs.500 per month for the duration of their treatment,” he said.
AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria appreciated the provisions for the health sector. “In tuberculosis, patient needs lot of nutritive support. The government’s plan to provide RS. 500 per month for the duration of their treatment will help TB patients continue their medical care. The initivative will help in eliminating TB from India.”
In 2016, under the national TB control programme, the health ministry noted that there are at least 28 lakh cases of the disease. However, only 17.4 lakh instances were registered with the ministry. Nearly 4.8 lakh deaths happen due to the disease, but mortality of about 63,297 cases has been notified.