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India’s Public, Private Sectors Must Do More To Control TB

In this Lancet opinion piece, Madhukar Pai, a professor and tuberculosis (TB) researcher at McGill University and consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses TB control in India. He writes, “Much has been said and written in the media about totally drug-resistant tuberculosis … However, all of these discussions really miss the key point — that tuberculosis continues to be a huge problem in India, and that the conditions for emergence of drug resistance are undeniably prevalent, in both public and private sectors.”

“[P]oorly managed tuberculosis is a major driver of the epidemic in India and is a crucial factor for emergence of drug resistance,” Pai writes, adding that “serious political commitment and substantially greater resources are necessary” to control TB, especially because “India today is in the middle of a phenomenal growth spurt.” He calls on government, “industry, scientists, celebrities, philanthropists, and high net-worth individuals [to] make a bigger contribution to help control a disease that is such a big drain on India’s economy” (3/7).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.