New Delhi: A monthly food basket with adequate protein alongside effective therapy has been found to reduce new tuberculosis (TB) cases by nearly half among family members of TB patients in Jharkhand, according to a study published in The Lancet Global Health journal. An international team of researchers enrolled household contacts of 2,800 patients with confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis across 28 TB units of the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme in four districts of the state.
Household contacts in the intervention group received monthly food rations and micronutrients (750 kcal, 23 grams of protein per day with micronutrients). After screening all household contacts for co-prevalent tuberculosis, all participants were followed up actively until July 31, 2022, for the primary outcome of incident TB.
Between August 2019 and January 2021, there were 10,345 household contacts from Jharkhand, of whom 5,328 (94·8 per cent) of 5,621 household contacts in the intervention group and 4,283 (90·7 per cent) of 4,724 household contacts in the control group completed the primary outcome assessment.
Almost two-thirds of the population belonged to Indigenous communities (eg, Santhals, Ho, Munda, Oraon, and Bhumij) and 34 per cent (3,543 of 10,345) had undernutrition.
The study found a relative reduction of tuberculosis incidence of 39 per cent (all forms) to 48 per cent (microbiologically confirmed pulmonary TB) in the intervention group.
An estimated 30 households (111 household contacts) would need to be provided nutritional supplementation to prevent one incident tuberculosis, the researchers said. Study corresponding author Anurag Bhargava, a professor at the Yenepoya Medical College, Center for Nutrition Studies, Mangalore, tweeted on Wednesday,
Food is an important adjunct to TB treatment to save lives and improved outcomes. Monthly food basket with adequate protein alongside effective therapy led to better weight gain. Nearly half of the cohort had BMI less than 16. Compared to other cohorts, mortality was 35-50 per cent less. Early weight gain by 2 months was associated with 60 per cent reduction in mortality.
In patients with TB, undernutrition is most common comorbidity, often severe & lethal. Our paper in @LancetGH in 2800 #PLWTB undergoing TB treatment.
Food is an important adjunct to TB treatment to save lives and improved outcomes. @dr_madhavib @yu_cns https://t.co/jsqiEZgUKY
— Anurag Bhargava (@dranuragb) August 9, 2023
In the study, nutritional support was provided to a group with a high prevalence of severe undernutrition.
The researchers found that weight gain, particularly in the first two months, was associated with a substantially decreased hazard of tuberculosis mortality.
Nutritional support needs to be an integral component of patient-centred care to improve treatment outcomes in such settings, they added.
The team also included researchers from McGill University in Canada; National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai; National Tuberculosis Institute, Bengaluru, State TB Cell in Ranchi and officials from National TB Elimination Programme in the Union Health Ministry.
India had an estimated 3 million cases of tuberculosis and 494,000 (4.94 lakh) TB deaths among HIV-negative people in 2021, according to the study.
The National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Elimination in India has targets of an 80 per cent reduction in incidence and a 90 per cent reduction in tuberculosis mortality by 2025, the authors said.
The modest progress in reducing tuberculosis mortality since 2015 was reversed during the COVID-19 pandemic, they added.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.