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Gates favours cheaper treatment for TB

Last Updated: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 20:24

New Delhi: Favouring a cheaper treatment
for Tuberculosis, software czar and philanthropist Bill Gates
today said the need of the hour was to develop a vaccine for
the disease towards which Indian scientists should work.

"Innovation is the key word. India will be a key for a
lot of innovations," Gates said at a press conference here.

Lamenting that the tests to check for TB were very
slow, he said most of the people who are afflicted with the
disease find out only much later and thus their treatment gets

He said that after using the microscope to detect the
TB bacteria, a new tool called the GeneXpert is being used.

He wished that the Indian scientists would take the
"basic idea" and make it more viable and cheap.

"The most magic thing would be to have a vaccine," he

India accounts for one-fifth of global TB cases and
the government has announced that it is all set to revise its
National Tuberculosis Control Programme with a new objective
of universal access to quality TB care.

Under universal access, all TB patients in the
community, including vulnerable and marginalised persons, will
have access to early, good quality diagnosis and treatment

The intermediate target is to detect 90 per cent of
all TB cases and successfully treat 90 per cent of them by

India`s DOTS programme is the largest in the world in
terms of patients initiated on treatment, placing on an
average of more than 1, 25,000 patients on treatment every


First Published: Thursday, March 24, 2011 - 20:24

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