13 March, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday launched a campaign to eradicate Tuberculosis, TB from India by 2025, five years ahead of a globally-set deadline.
After inaugurating the Delhi End-TB Summit in New Delhi, the Prime Minister launched the TB-free India Campaign to take the activities under the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination forward in a mission mode for ending the epidemic.
The Prime Minister said, a target has been set to end TB globally by 2030 and Government of India has set aim to eradicate it from India five years ahead by 2025.
Modi said, TB was declared emergency by WHO 25 years ago and India has come a long way in the fight against Tuberculosis. He said it is important to get rid of Tuberculosis within the stipulated time period.
Modi said, new initiatives have been taken to eliminate the disease and budget allocation has been increased. He said, nutritional support is being given through Direct Benefit Transfer. He added that government is engaging private sector in the schemes for better implementation.
The Prime Minister stressed on analysing the situation and changing the approach, saying that efforts to curb tuberculosis has not yield successful results yet and said State Governments have a major role to play in elimination of TB from the country.
Modi said, he has written to all Chief Ministers to join the mission. He said, it will also boost the spirit of cooperative federalism. He further said that front-line TB physicians and workers can make a major contribution in this direction.
Modi further said that TB is the most prevalent among communicable diseases in the country and the poor are the worst affected by it. He said, every step taken towards eradicating the disease is directly connected to their lives.
Speaking on the occasion Health Minister J P Nadda said Government is committed to eliminate Tuberculosis from India by 2025.
In his address, Director General of WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, WHO stands with India and other countries in the fight against Tuberculosis.
Leaders from across the globe have converged in the national capital for the summit, hosted by the Union Ministry of Health along with the WHO and the Stop TB Partnership. TB is responsible for 1.7 million deaths in 2016, despite most cases being curable while over 10 million people contract TB every year.
The summit will set the stage for United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB in September this year, where for the first time, TB will be discussed in the UN General Assembly at the Heads of State level.