PM Modi launches campaign to eradicate tuberculosis from India by 2025

FSO leaders at Coventry during a Meeting

FSO leaders at Coventry during a Meeting

While addressing the gathering at "End TB Summit" in the national capital today Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "I would like to announce that we have set the aim to eradicate TB from India by 2025".

He also called for multi-sectoral engagement and participation of all stake-holders at every level to create "TB-free village, panchayat, district and state", noting that frontline TB physicians and workers can make a major contribution in this direction. "However, in the last three-and-a-half years, it has increased by 6 per cent and by the next year, we will achieve 90 per cent immunisation coverage", he said at the inauguration of the Delhi End-TB Summit.

TB is the leading infectious killer in India, where there were an estimated 28 lakh new cases in 2016, with over 4 lakh people succumbing to the disease, including those who had TB as well as HIV.

State governments have a major role to play in the elimination of TB from India, Modi said, adding he has written to all chief ministers to join this mission.

He further said that TB was the most prevalent among communicable diseases in the country and the poor were the worst affected by it.

"WHO will stand by India, and by every country that decides TB has no place in its future", he said.

"We have had a long journey in eradicating TB and have not been totally successful n wiping out the disease so a change in approach was required, " he said.

He pointed out that in Moscow in November, President Vladimir Putin had committed to engaging globally to end TB, and now India had resolved to eradicate it.

He criticised the past TB eradication program while saying, "The pace of with which the program to eradicate TB in the nation was moving forward earlier, it would have taken us another 40 years to achieve it". Ever after curation, over 10 million people contract TB every year.

Also present on the occasion were Union Minister for Health J.P. Nadda; Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel; Director-General, WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; former director, Stop TB Partnership, Ms. Lucica Difiu; along with Health Ministers from 20 countries.

Urging the Health and Family Welfare Ministry to increase the research work being done in ayurveda for finding cure for tuberculosis, he said: "India will supoport all countries needing first line drugs, commodities and technical support to fight TB".

As the main cause of death from antimicrobial resistance, TB also poses a threat to global health security.

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