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National Tuberculosis Elimination Program: India’s Goals and Challenges

Sunitha C Srinivas, Gokul Dharani, Mahesh Padukudru Anand, Seeprarani Rath, Raj Vaidya, Rohit O Agarwal, Krishna Kumar



Tuberculosis (TB), despite being a preventable and curable disease, has remained a consistent public health challenge in India. Before the additional challenges of the COVID pandemic started, India set out with the National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP). While combating COVID, the healthcare system has not been able to cope with the stringent requirements of NTEP. Therefore, this article highlights the current situation of TB in India while providing a snapshot of the evidence-based patient-centric approaches that could be adopted to work towards the goals of NTEP by 2025. 


The main challenges identified with NTEP were continued lack of awareness about TB, prevalence of stigma and tracking of the “missing cases”. Collaboration between Civil Society Organizations and local and national governments could greatly enhance development outcomes by conducting outreach activities. Integration of community-based TB activities with other community-based healthcare activities is necessary to improve synergy and impact. 


Based on our key findings, it is evident that India has to adopt multisectoral responses and evidence-based pathways such as current digitalization of the programme to address the complex and layered nuances, subsequently facilitating health system strengthening. The article culminates by emphasizing the importance of how community engagement and community champions can contribute to reduced catastrophic costs for patients and towards the intended elimination goals. Attention is drawn towards the role of pharmacy practice professionals in enhancing TB prevention and in supporting those who are being treated, to complete their therapy successfully.


Tuberculosis (TB); Digitalization; National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP); Community Engagement; TB Champions; Pharmacy Practice


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