Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday set 2025 as the deadline year to eradicate tuberculosis from India, five years ahead of global target. He further said that front-line TB physicians and workers can make a most important contribution in this course.
After inaugurating the Delhi End-TB Summit here, 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 by 2025. They are working in a smoke-free atmosphere, using clean energy."Mr Modi talked about world's biggest public health programme "Ayushman Bharat' and added " The aim is to create such an eco-system so that malnutrition is reduced."He stressed on use of Ayurvedic and Yoga with the mainstream medicines and stated that India was ready to work with all the countries in the world in this direction". We hope such efforts will ignite concrete political leadership and action on the ground to end TB. "Thus every step taken for the elimination of TB is directly connected to the lives of the poor", he said.
Modi said "We have not been successful in curbing Tuberculosis yet".
Noting that TB is associated with social stigma and patients often hesitate to reveal their disease, Modi said that willpower is very critical to win over the disease.
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.
"The rate of immunisation rose to 6 per cent in the last 3-and-half years and we will achieve 90 per cent immunisation coverage by next year", the PM said.
J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare; Anupriya Patel, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare; Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO; Ms.Lucica Difiu, Ex. Director, Stop TB Partnership along with the Health Ministers from 20 countries were also present at the inaugural function of the summit.
India has the highest burden of tuberculosis in the world-each year, 29 lakh new cases of TB are reported; 4.20 lakh people, mostly poor, are known to die of the disease.
The summit would 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.
The health ministers of a number of countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, Peru and Brazil have also taken part in the summit.
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