NTEP is the new name of the RNTCP
At the start of 2020 the central government of India renamed the RNTCP the National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP).1 In a lettter to all the State Chief Secretaries of states and UTs, the commitment is emphasised of the Union government achieving the sustainable development goal of ending TB by 2025, five years ahead of the global targets.
Impact of COVID-19 on TB services
The countrywide lockdown in 2020 adversely impacted routine health care services including those for the management of TB. Patients were unable to access routine health services due to the restrictions imposed as an emergency response measure. Individuals with symptoms of TB were not able to reach doctors/hospitals/diagnostic centres for getting themselves tested.
With transportation across the country coming to a halt patient specimens could not be transported to laboratories, and drug supplies were also affected. A much greater impact was felt by the private sector as most smaller clinics and health facilities remained closed for much of 2020. In addition people at the NTEP were also redirected to managing the COVID epidemic.
Both these tests can now be used to test for COVID in addition to their existing use for TB. Because of the COVID situation additional machines and chips were procured so that the machines could be used for COVID testing. Bi directional screening of TB and COVID was the intention to aid in case finding of both diseases. But if machines are initially used for COVID they can then, once the COVID epidemic is contained, be used for TB.
The Global Fund has provided an additional grant of USD 20 million for mitigating the COVID-19 impact on HIV, TB and malaria programmes.
A Second wave of COVID
In April 2021 a second wave of COVID swept across India.
National Strategic Plans
There have been a number of National Strategic Plans, the latest of which is the National Stategic Plan 2020 - 2025. Before this there was the National Strategic Plan 2017-2025. Despite the development of the NSP 2020-2025, it is the NSP 2017-2025 which is referred to in more recent documents such as the India TB Report 2022.
The National Strategic Plans have an important role in identifying whether the Government of India is on course with their plans to eliminate TB in India by 2025.
The NSP 2017-2025 outlined key governance interventions and structures that needed to be in place to end TB by 2025. However, the NSP 2020-2025 noted that the planned expansion and restructuring of the NTEP was one of the initiatives that has not taken place.
The National Strategic Plan 2020 - 2025 identifies a number of issues that have to be achieved for the way forward. In order to help with these and to take disease control initiatives to the "grass roots" level the Certification of Disease Free Status has been developed.
Sub-National Certification of Disease Free Status
The Government of India (GoI) has set the target of reducing the incidence of new TB cases by 80% to end TB by 2025. Both the level of TB and efforts towards elimination vary across States/Districts. So the GoI has announced that it will incentivise and reward States/Districts for achieving certain targets.
Criteria for attaining TB free status
A District or a State/UT will be recognized for "TB Free" efforts, based on the criteria described below. As it may take some time to achieve TB free status, in order to motivate States/Districts, interim recognition will also be given under the following bronze, silver and gold categories.
|Achievement of reduction in TB incidence as compared to 2015 incident rate (in terms of number of incident TB cases per lakh population)||Award / Status|
|>80%||TB Free District / State|
|Award / Status||Monetary award|
for district (Rs.)
for State /UT (Rs.)
|Bronze||200,000||2,500,000||Medal and Felicitation at the National Level|
|Silver||300,000||5,000,000||Medal and Felicitation at
the National Level
|Gold||500,000||7,500,000||Medal and Felicitation at the National Level|
|TB Free |
|1,000,000||10,000,000||Certification and Felicitation at the National Level|
For States/UTs with a population less than 50 lakhs and districts with a population less than 2 lakhs, the amount awarded will be 50% of the amount.
The States/UTs of Kerala, Lakshadweep & Puducherry have already claimed TB Free Status. Another 67 districts across India have also made claims under various categories as follows.
|State/UT||No. of Districts||State/UT||No. of Districts|
|DNH & D&D||3||Odisha||2|
This page was last updated in December 2022.
Author Annabel Kanabus
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- "RNTCP gets name change, now called National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP)", 2020, https://medicaldialogues.in/rntcp-gets-a-name-change-now-called-national-tuberculosis-elimination-program-ntep
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