Why in News?
- Within three months of its launch, more than 52,000 Ni-kshay Mitras have registered.
- With more focus on nutritional improvement among TB patients, the Union Health Ministry launched the Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana in 2018 as part of National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) which provides direct cash benefit transfer of ₹500 per month to TB patients on treatment.
- Jan bhagidari (people’s participation) forms the core principle of the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan to provide additional support to TB patients.
- Undernutrition and TB form a vicious cycle. Poor nutritional status predisposes an individual to get infected by the disease, or have a dormant disease manifest clinically. TB leads to depletion of nutrient reserves and aggravation of undernutrition.
- Optimum nutritional support to TB patients improves weight gain, adherence to therapy, muscle strength, quality of life, robust recovery and reduced mortality.
The Ni-kshay mitras:
- Under this policy, Ni-kshay Mitras can adopt and care for TB patients.
- Ni-kshay Mitras are volunteers who could be individuals, NGOs, co-operative societies, corporates, and even political parties.
- They commit to help the TB patients through nutritional support, nutritional supplements, additional investigations and vocational support.
- Helping a TB patient could avert ruinous downslide of a family due to wage loss. Humanitarian support from people could save the life of a TB patient.