Tuberculosis (TB), is known by several other names such as Tapedik, Kshay Rog, phthisis, consumption, white death, great white plague, graveyard cough, King's Evil, etc. TB has been documented since 3000 BC and some workers rightly consider it as a disease of antiquity. Tuberculosis, being one of the oldest epidemics and one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, kills more people each year than HIV/AIDS and malaria combined. Growing resistance to commonly-used treatments and service disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are compounding this challenge, which remains largely overlooked by the global community. In India, 1,300 people die every day from TB, and more than 4 Lakh people are “missed” from diagnosis (*MoHFW TB Report 2020, INDIA TB report 2022, Prevalence Survey Report), and by extension treatment. They are members of the community that go untreated, and when left unchecked, become spreaders of TB.
Keeping in mind the aim of the NTEP, the objective of THE TB CHALLENGE is to develop and broadcast content to create awareness through on-ground activities and events on TB through the multi-pronged approach adopted by community radios. To ensure that all infected people become part of the system, they need to be screened, tested, and then treated as per norms. 58 CRS in 7 states, together, reach approximately 15 million people (1.5 crores) with an assured listenership of 26-28%. The CRS selected in this campaign, are located in 48 districts that represent a largely rural and tribal population in high TB burden districts. These stations serve the underserved and hard-to-reach populations, and have over the years, built strong community engagement.