‘I urge each and every stakeholder connected with TB to read this volume […] because it represents the most important missing aspect of our work with TB—what patients think and need from us. Until we address this, TB will remain the uncontrollable crisis it has become over these past decades.’
—Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Deputy Director General, WHO
Tuberculosis is one of India’s most significant health challenges, affecting a staggering 2.8 million people. Although treatable, fighting the disease requires regular medication, good nutrition, adequate rest and the strength to deal with an array of debilitating side effects, all of which takes a toll on the time, money and energy of patients, as well as their families and community.
Although the Indian government has recently committed to tackling the growing TB epidemic, the situation on the ground remains grim. Tuberculosis—India’s Ticking Time Bomb is a manifesto by patients, containing detailed guidelines and recommendations on how to improve TB diagnosis, treatment and ways of addressing the stigma around this disease. Each chapter addresses a specific challenge, ranging from the difficulty of diagnosis and increasingly virulent drug-resistance, to how the disease can push patients into poverty. TB survivors also movingly recount their experiences, including their struggles with drug resistance, stigma, poverty and unscrupulous healthcare providers.
This ground-breaking book, with an introduction by Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Deputy Director General of WHO in India, offers a crucial new perspective— that of the TB patients and survivors themselves, writing with confidence and the authority borne of experience—on one of the biggest challenges facing India today.