India aims to eradicate TB by 2025: PM

| | New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a campaign to eradicate the deadly Tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025, five years earlier than the target set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“I would like to announce that we have set the aim to eradicate TB from India by 2025,” the Prime Minister said at the summit ‘Delhi End TB’ after launching Tuberculosis Free India Campaign, which will take the activities of National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB elimination forward in Mission mode.

“We have not been successful in curbing Tuberculosis yet. I believe that if something doesn’t yield result even after 10 to 15 years then we need to change our approach. The situation needs to be analysed,” he said.

With the funding of around Rs 12,000 crore over the next three years, the motto of the NSP is to ensure every TB patient has access to quality diagnosis, treatment, and support.

One of the top 10 causes of death worldwide, tuberculosis clocks up approximately 2.8 million cases and nearly half a million deaths on an annual basis in India. In 2016, TB was responsible for 1.7 million deaths despite most cases being curable, while over 10 million people contract TB every year.

Highlighting India’s commitment to end TB, Modi said, “The pace with which the programme to eradicate TB in the nation was moving forward earlier, it would have taken us another 40 years to achieve it. Today I’m confident that in the duration of 1 year we’ll be able to achieve 90 per cent immunisation.”

Leaders from across the globe have converged in the national capital to attend the summit, including ministers from all the States across India. Acknowledging the same, PM Modi said, “The fact that several ministers from all States and concerned officers are present in the event here, indicate how we, as ‘Team India’, are determined to eradicate TB from the country.”

He stressed on analysing the situation and changing the approach, saying efforts to curb tuberculosis had not yield successful results yet and that State Governments had a major role to play in elimination of TB from the country. He said frontline TB physicians and workers could make a major contribution in this direction.

“State Governments have a major role to play in elimination of TB from India. I have written to all chief ministers to join this mission,” Modi said, adding it would boost the spirit of cooperative federalism.

He said TB is the most prevalent among communicable diseases in the country and the poor were worst affected by it. Every step taken towards eradicating the disease is directly connected to their lives, he added.

The summit will set the stage for the September 2018 United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB, where for the first time, TB would be discussed in the UN General Assembly at the Heads of State level.

India topped the list of seven nations, accounting for 64 percent of the 10.4 million new tuberculosis (TB) cases worldwide in 2016, according to the Global TB Report 2017.

As per the report, released by the WHO, India saw 27.9 lakh TB cases in 2016, which was down marginally from the previous year’s 28.4 lakh, though. The country also recorded 4.23 lakh TB deaths (without HIV) in 2016, a slight dip from the 4.8 lakh deaths in 2015.Read: Tackling India’s tuberculosis crisis - CSIR’s Chandigarh body, J&J to develop novel treatments for TB.

“In 2016, there were an estimated 10.4 million new TB cases worldwide, 10 per cent of which were people living with HIV. Seven countries accounted for 64 percent of the total burden, with India bearing the brunt,” it said.

India is followed by Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa.



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