Improving Access to Affordable and Quality TB Tests in India

Authors: Madhukar Pai, MD, PhD—Author and Series Editor
Number of pages: 5
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Overview: This article describes the Initiative for Promoting Affordable, Quality TB tests (IPAQT; www.ipaqt.org), a coalition of private laboratories in India, supported by industry and non-profit groups, that has made several WHO-endorsed TB tests available at more affordable prices to patients in the private sector. General practitioner who manage TB should avoid inaccurate blood-based tests and use WHO-endorsed sputum tests for TB, including LED fluorescence smear microscopy, liquid cultures, line probe assays, and automated, cartridge-based molecular tests (i.e., Xpert MTB/RIF). These tests are validated and backed by strong evidence and WHO policy recommendations. Thanks to IPAQT, their prices have been reduced considerably in the Indian private sector.

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One thought on “Improving Access to Affordable and Quality TB Tests in India

  1. Unbelievable!!! this is a very serious if not critical matter!!! Having 80% of patients going into private sector is a huge gap within the health system of a country as a whole with then horrible impact to the TB program. the solution is very complex but not impossible to solve:
    1. there is a need for a well planed TB program with aim to integrate the private sector
    2. we need to strengthen the national program and policy by our presence as NGOs in private sector’ on implementation strategy i participated in for ARVs free of charge in private sector in Lesotho Kingdom was to place our nurses from the allocated NGOs for testing, investigating(laboratories) and administering ARVs and the follow up as per national policy. then the private sector could claim their money using the data report from our nurses and ARVs for all free of charge was possible there is a lot to tell here in terms of policy strategy; WHO endorsement but as i repeat there is a need to rash and implement new support to the entire system and have special approach in funding TB program in the private sector from diagnosis to treatment
    3. Lastly, the community approach strategy is key to implement a pilot study to inform government by taking a region and work informing community on the free of charge TB program coupled with a door per door sputum collection; and treatment using DOTs approach
    This is as well an approach i used in Swaziland for three years and good lessons from Lesotho for TB/MDR/TB home based in which i worked with PIH for implementation as a DMO
    There is a lot we should do as far as the TB program has always funds

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