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Thousands still affected by tuberculosis in Tamil Nadu

Over 100,000 new cases of tuberculosis were detected in Tamil Nadu in 2018, according to India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had recorded the highest number of tuberculosis cases in 2017, according to a report by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, with thousands of people continuing to be impacted by the disease. As many as 4,357 people in Karnataka and 3,953 people in Tamil Nadu were detected to have tuberculosis. The large numbers of people afflicted by the lung disease has led India to being on top of World Health Organization's Global Tuberculosis report, in its list of countries impacted worldwide.

The report comes as the World Health Organization's deputy director general, Dr Soumya Swaminathan, noted at the TB-Free Tamil Nadu scientific conference, which was funded by the Tamil Nadu government, that the Serum Institute of India and the Indian Council of Medical Research will be funding a trial of the 'bacillus Calmette-Guerin' vaccine.

The trial, according to Swaminathan, "will begin in March and the results of [the] Serum Institute trial should be available within a year". Researchers are also testing the 'mycobacterium indicus pranii' (MIP) vaccine, which is traditionally administered for the prevention of leprosy.  The BCG vaccine is currently the only approved vaccine for tuberculosis, and though it works relatively well among infants and children, its potency drastically decreases by adulthood.

India aims to eradicate TB by 2025, and the government has stated its commitment towards achieving this goal. As part of these efforts Union Deputy Secretary of Health Vikas Sheel said India’s Technical Drug Committee is evaluating a report from the WHO, which recommended the use of drugs to tackle drug-resistant TB.

See more from the New Indian Express here.