oppn parties Study Shows How Nutritious Food Can Eliminate TB

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Study Shows How Nutritious Food Can Eliminate TB

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2023-08-11 08:57:39

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

A recent study published in the respected medical journal Lancet has highlighted how eating a nutritious and balanced diet can help fight Tuberculosis (TB). It not only lowers the chance of getting TB for people living with infected individuals but also reduces the risk of death for those already diagnosed with TB. The study was carried out by The Indian Council of Medical Research in Jharkhand. In patients with tuberculosis, malnutrition leads to a reduction in appetite, nutrient and micronutrient malabsorption, and altered metabolism, leading to wasting.

The study found that gaining weight early on for those suffering from TB can greatly reduce the risk of death by 60%. It also showed that when TB patients gain weight, their treatment time gets shorter. If a TB patient gains just 1% of their weight during two months of treatment, their treatment time could be 13% shorter. If they gain 5% of their weight, the treatment time might decrease by as much as 61%. This discovery is important for India, as it has the highest number of TB cases in the world. In 2020 alone, over 450,000 people in India died from TB.

To address the importance of better nutrition, the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP) introduced the Nikshay Poshan Yojana (NPY). This program gives people diagnosed with TB a monthly allowance of Rs 500. However, this amount is highly inadequate, given that, according to NTEP guidelines, a TB patient should ideally consume around 2,800 calories every day. While the NPY program is a step in the right direction, it is not seen as a complete solution.

If the government wants to achieve its aim of eliminating TB from India by 2025, it will have to learn lessons from the study and take steps to ensure that TB patients get nutritious food and their living conditions are improved. It should increase the monthly allowance under NPY. It should also create awareness among patients and provide proper training to caregivers under NTEP."