India faces the challenge of a range of infectious diseases. Every fifth new tuberculosis case in the world lives in the Indian subcontinent according to the Deutsche Lepra-und-Tuberkulosehilfe. Japanese Encephalitis is present in many areas of India and has caused serious epidemics in recent years. India has been less severely affected by the HIV epidemic than many other countries, despite early predictions of disaster, but still has almost three million people living with the virus. Bacterial resistance is a growing threat because of the widespread misuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Following are some articles that elaborate more on the situation of Infectious diseases in India.

 Emerging Infectious Diseases in India
In July , 2013 the Indian Council of Medical Research presented an important document “Emerging & re- emerging infections in India: An overview”. This talks about outbreaks of eight organisms of emerging and re-emerging diseases in various parts of India. WHO has made several recommendations for national response mechanisms.Many of these are in various stages of implementation in India. However, for a country of size and population of India, the emerging infections remain a real and present danger.
The document lists the newly discovered microbes that are of public health importance. It presents vital information on the sites, statistics and trends of emerging infections and epidemiological features.
A new article on statistics as provided by the WHO’s 2013 report and shows the government’s failure in tackling TB in India.

The World Health Organization’s 2013 global tuberculosis report paints a grim picture for India. Once a pioneer in TB treatment among developing nations, the government’s resolution to fight the disease has  developed cracks over the years. According to the report, the country has 2-2.5 million TB cases — a conservative figure, given that worldwide three million cases go undetected each year. The other depressing fact is that 33 per cent of the total population suffering from TB worldwide does not have access to treatment.

The fight against TB is getting progressively tougher as drug-resistant TB increasingly makes its  presence felt.  According to the WHO, around 450,000 people are victims of multi-drug resistant (MDR) type of TB with China, India and Russia together accounting for most cases. MDR occurs when people stop taking medicines midway, making subsequent treatments more difficult and complicated. It has forced the WHO to change its earlier stand when it dissuaded countries like India from diverting resources for treating ordinary TB to boost drug-resistant TB programmes. Now, it has urged countries to make MDR TB part of the national programme as it requires urgent attention.

 The political will evident in nationwide polio programmes is sadly missing in the case of TB. That makes the struggle even more acute. To read the article ,please click here.

Mumbai Health: Affluenza leading to spike in diseases

In an article published in the Times of India on July 31st, states that in Mumbai at least 40,000 people have died in Mumbai due to TB in the last five years. To read the article please click here.

Hepatitis C patients lack access to affordable treatment and care

The article published in July 2013 in the Hindu, stated that Hepatitis C can be treated and cured with newer drugs in the pipeline, which will simplify the treatment regimen and improve cure rates.  Yet numerous hurdles, from healthcare-setting discrimination to drug prices, still need to be overcome so that access to treatment is equitable and does not overlook people who use drugs. To read more please click here.

Viral hepatitis claims 2.50 lakh lives in India every year: Experts

In July 2013 the DNA published an article which stated that there are over 500 million people living with chronic hepatitis in the country. To read the article please click here.

Why tuberculosis is India’s biggest public health problem

Published in the Economic Times in June 2013,  states that India is home to 2.2 million tuberculosis patients, making it the largest number in a single country. According to other estimates, one person dies of the disease every two minutes in India. To read the article please click here.

Malaria still a major threat in India

According to the article published in May 2013, states that while the number of Malaria cases in the country have fallen, it still remains to be a major threat in India. To read the article please click here.

India leads the world in dengue burden: Nature

According to a multinational study published by Nature, Dengue the world’s most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease, is taking a far bigger human toll than was believed to be the case. As many as 390 million people across the globe could be falling victim to the virus each year. To read article as published in the Hindu, please click here.

1.3 billion in South-East Asia at risk of malaria: WHO

As reported in the Hindu, the WHO has stated that more funds are needed to ensure that more people, especially those living in high-risk areas, have access to long-lasting insecticidal nets, rapid diagnostic tests and laboratory equipment to detect the disease, and artemisinin-based combination therapy. To read more please click here.

 Revised National TB Control Programme: Annual Report

The revised national TB control programme is a government of India initiative aimed at reducing the incidents of the disease in the country. To read the annual report for 2012 please click here.

Fact Sheet on TB 

A fact sheet on TB in India is available on this website- TBFacts. The site is hosted by a charity called  GHE (Global Health Education)based in England.

‘About 250,000 people die of viral hepatitis in India annually’

Dr Ajit Sood, head of department, gastroenterology at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), says “In particular, types B and C lead to chronic diseases in hundreds of millions of people and together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of prenatal contact with infected body fluids”. “Approximately 1 in 12 persons worldwide, or some 500 million people, are living with chronic viral hepatitis. In India, about 250,000 people die of viral hepatitis annually”. Please click here.

 Centre for research on HIV vaccine set up 

Parliamentarians and leaders pledged to provide scientists with “adequate resources” on par with international standards in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam launched the HIV Vaccine Translational Health Sciences and Technology Institute (THSTI) in New Delhi on Monday at a symposium on accelerating India’s search for an HIV vaccine. To read more please click here.

Continuing Challenge of Infectious Diseases in India

Published in 2011, authors T Jacob John, Lalit Dandona, Vinod P Sharma, Manish Kakkar write about the challenges of infectious diseases in India. The paper can be read here.

Battle against TB runs into diabetes hurdle

Healthcare workers fighting to control tuberculosis face a new challenge : diabetes in TB patients. Studies have found that nearly half the number of patients registered for treatment of infectious tuberculosis in Chennai and neighbouring districts are diabetic. Doctors say diabetes in TB patients will not only make treatment difficult, but make tuberculosis prevention a challenging task. To read more please click here.

 Urgent need for formal medical training in infectious diseases in India

An article published in the lancelet states that Infection, not heart disease, diabetes, or cancer, is the leading cause of death in India. National health-care policy for control and transmission of infection is under critical scrutiny.Whereas many specialties such as cardiology, nephrology, and pulmonology flourish in most Indian medical schools, the specialty of infectious diseases is non-existent. Despite being plagued with infections such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and antibiotic-resistant bacterial diseases, the medical educators of India have not taken steps to create formal training programmes. To read more please click here.

Sharp drop in HIV cases in India

India had witnessed a sharp decline in the number of new HIV cases — a 56 per cent drop — in the past 10 years.“HIV infections have declined by 56 per cent during the last decade from 2.7 lakh in 2000 to 1.2 lakh in 2009 in our country,” Indian Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said in the national capital. To read more please click here.

 DBT launches new initiatives to develop HIV vaccine in collaboration with IAVI
India is setting up a sophisticated lab to launch a fresh research on developing a vaccine against HIV/AIDS in collaboration with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), said Union Minister for Science and Technology Vayalar Ravi. The Union Minister said seed money of Rs.70 crore had been allocated for the purpose.“It is going to be new strategy, based on the knowledge gained in the past and the scientists will have cutting edge advantage to begin the research. It is the business of patience so the breakthroughs are now uncertain or we cannot put a deadline,” Department of Biotechnology (DBT) secretary, Dr M K Bhan said. To read more please click here.
Big Pharma lobbies hard to curb generics
An interesting article that states the conflict between the drug companies in the US and EU and the ones based in India. The article states that one of the biggest barriers for the generic industry was put in place in 1995, according to industry experts, when India signed the WTO TRIPs agreement. Implemented in 2005, it is now restricting generic companies to manufacture affordable copycat versions for domestic use, and for exports. So newer medicines were invented post-1995 – crucial for HIV, Hepatitis C and cancer treatment – and are patented, creating roadblocks to their manufacture, sale and availability in India. To read more please click here.

Treatment for multi drug resistant TB now available in UP

The complete treatment for multi drug resistant tuberculosis is now available in UP. The facility is available at King Georges Medical University’s Intermediate Reference Laboratory (IRL), which detects the bacteria of MDR TB. To read more click here.

 New, deadlier form of TB hits India

Tuberculosis, which kills around 1,000 people a day in India, has acquired a deadlier edge. A new entity-ominously called Totally Drug-Resistant TB (TDR-TB )-has been isolated in the fluid samples of 12 TB patients in the past three months alone at Hinduja Hospital at Mahim . The hospital’s laboratory has been certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) to test TB patients for drug resistance. To read more please click here.

TB declared notifiable disease

In a statement issued by the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry said “that Notification of TB cases by all healthcare providers will help patients get better access to quality diagnosis and treatment. This will facilitate early diagnosis, rational treatment, prevention of complications and reduce deaths due to TB.” To read more please click here.

India accounted for 47 per cent of global measles death in 2010

“Delayed implementation of accelerated disease control in India” has led the country to account for “47 per cent of estimated measles mortality in 2010” stated a paper published today (April 24) in The Lancet. At 36 per cent, even the World Health Organisation (WHO) African region accounted for lesser mortality than India. For more information please click here.

TB that resists all drugs is found in India

Tuberculosis specialists in India have diagnosed infections in a dozen patients in Mumbai that are unfazed by the three first-choice TB drugs and all nine second-line drugs. The doctors are calling them “totally drug-resistant TB,” and the infections are essentially incurable with all available medicines. For more information click here.

Disease Burden in India: estimations and casual analysis

A good paper that gives a holistic view of the burden of diseases both economically and socially in India. the paper states that nearly 40% of the Indian population of all ages has Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection; and there are about 85 lakh people with TB at any given time. With more than 400,000 dying each year. Please click here for more information.

From despondency to optimism: 25 years of HIV in India

Today with an estimated 23.9 lakh HIV infections (of which 39% are females and 4.4% are children) India is home to the second largest population of people living with HIV – an epidemic which is concentrated in high risk populations such as sex workers and their clients, men who have sex with men, transgender, and injecting drug users. Please click here for more information.

China outperforms India in tackling double burden of diseases

China has outperformed India in tackling the “double-burden” of diseases that includes infectious diseases affecting the poor on the one hand and chronic lifestyle ailments typical of fast urbanisation on the other, a WHO report has said. While India’s life expectancy has shot up to 65 years in 2009, up from 61 years in 2000, China has improved the same to 74 years during the last 10 years. Please click here to read more.

“TB, malaria , kala-azar form 30%  of India’s disease burden”

Despite success in tackling polio, leprosy and AIDS, India still faces continuing threats from infectious diseases like tuberculosis, malaria and ‘kala-azar’ which constitute 30 per cent of the country’s disease burden. Please click here to read more.

Report of the working group on disease burden for the 12th five year plan

A report published by the planning commission of India, talks in detail about the burden of communicable diseases in India. To read more please click here.

Migrant population bears the highest burden of HIV in India

Migration is fuelling India’s HIV epidemic. National AIDS Control Organisation’s latest figures show that besides high risk populations like sex workers, the highest burden of HIV is among migrants – 3.6%, which is 10 times the HIV prevalence among the general population. To read more please click here.

TB in India: burden, progress and needs

A report published by the Ministry of Health in India states that there are 1.93 million cases of TB annually. There are about 280,000 deaths per year and about 4.85% of all TB patients are HIV positive. To read more please click here.

Controlling Malaria and eradicating kala – azar and polio

ndia reports some 2 million malaria cases each year with about half being caused by Plasmodium Falciparum (Pf), a severe and an often fatal strain that is spreading rapidly. Indiaalso bears a high burden of other vector borne diseases (VBD) such as dengue, Japanese encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, and the sandfly-transmitted kala azar which affects the poorest of the poor who live in unhygienic housing conditions. Please click here to read more.

 Estimation of true malaria burden in India

Malaria continues to be one of India’s leading pubic health problems. The issue of malaria is one which crosses age,gender and socio economic boundaries and therefore there is a need to have a robust public health plan to combat this disease. For more information click here.

Typhoid sends droves of children to hospitals

Typhoid is caused by bacteria that spread through contaminated food and water, typhoid begins with a fever of over 103 degree Fahrenheit and severe headache; in worst cases, it can lead to multiple organ failure and death. to read more click here.

Over 30m in India carry the hepatitis virus

Professor S K Acharya, HoD of gastroenterology at AIIMS, said studies reported from various parts of India estimate that about 20 million Indians are Hep B carriers and about 8 to 10 million may have silent Hep C virus infection. To read more click here.