Listen to part 1 of episode 39 of ThoughtSpace (above) featuring Dr Madhukar Pai, Nandita Venkatesan, Dr Sarthak Rastogi, Dr Jishnu Das and Yamini Aiyar.
On a regular day, tuberculosis (TB) claims over 1,000 lives in India. This is without the coronavirus pandemic. While the government and health care system’s energies have been focussed on controlling the spread of COVID-19, access to healthcare facilities for other infectious diseases, especially TB, has reduced significantly. How has the lockdown impacted TB patients and how are they coping? As we continue our fight against COVID-19, what must the government do to ensure that we do not slide back on the all progress we have made with TB care over the decades?
In this two-part episode, co-hosts Yamini Aiyar, President & Chief Executive of CPR, and Dr Jishnu Das, Professor at Georgetown University and Senior Visiting Fellow at CPR, speak with Dr Madhukar Pai, Professor and Director of McGill Global Health Programs and International TB Centre; Nandita Venkatesan, a journalist, TB survivor and TB disability advocate; and Dr Sarthak Rastogi, consultant pulmonologist at the Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai.
In part 1, Pai, Venkatesan, and Rastogi lay out the context of TB in India and share first-hand accounts of the disruption in diagnosis and care as a result of the lockdown. They point to the fact that new diagnoses have come to a complete halt and patients on treatment regimens are facing extreme difficulty in accessing their medication. This could have devastating consequences for India’s fight against TB.
This is part 1 of episode seven in a series of episodes by the Centre for Policy Research on the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in India. You can follow the Centre’s work on Covid-19 on Twitter or visit www.cprindia.org. You can listen to all the episodes in the Coronavirus Conversation series here.