The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a significant impact on the detection and management of infectious diseases worldwide. As the healthcare resources struggle to deal with the pandemic, there is widespread fear that there will be a rise in other infections and non-communicable diseases. Mycobacterium Tuberculosis remains one of the highest cause of mortality and morbidity in the world with 10 million new cases, 1.4 million deaths and nearly half a million cases of drug-resistant TB, in 2019.
The need of the hour is to prevent the rise of drug resistance in TB. The rise in drug resistance can be mainly attributed to failure to adhere to treatment regimens. Recent studies show that the exposure of bacteria to sublethal levels of bacterial antibiotics, promotes cellular mutations, leading to increased mutations promoting drug resistance. Because of the problems associated with the detection and treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis, it is of paramount importance that we aim to implement stringent measures of primary and secondary prevention against cases of drug-sensitive tuberculosis to prevent the rise of drug resistance. It is important to highlight the importance of DOTS while talking about measures of primary and secondary prevention. The involvement of the multidisciplinary health team and auxiliary health workers to monitor the treatment of affected patients cannot be stressed enough, since this is the most simple and effective way to prevent treatment failure.
Furthermore, the cost of treatment of MDR-TB remains out of reach of the middle and lower middle-income strata of society. It is the need of the hour to lower the cost of drugs as well as provide easy and affordable access to rapid investigations to detect drug resistance
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