Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the government has set a deadline of 2025 to free the country from tuberculosis (TB), five years ahead of the globally set deadline.
Terming frontline TB physicians and workers a crucial part of the TB Free India Campaign, he said those patients who overcome this disease also inspire others.
After inaugurating End-TB Summit in 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 approach for ending the outbreak by 2025. But I declare that India would be free from tuberculosis five years ahead by 2025. An airborne disease, TB represents a global health security threat and remains most prevalent among the poor.
The prime minister said his government's thrust has been on technology and innovation in this field to better the drugs, diagnosis and treatment of the disease and to boost research, India TB Research Consortium has also been set up.
PM Modi reiterated that we should change our approach and try to focus on eliminating from TB from the country.
"The government has made a provision of spending United States dollars 100 million per annum for providing nutrition support to the patients suffering from disease", he said. "Thus every step taken for the elimination of TB is directly connected to the lives of the poor", he said.
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"The Prime Minister said he has personally written letters to state chief ministers to cooperate in this programme and work as 'Team India".
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. A 2017 report by the Global TB Caucus examining how the global economy would be affected if the TB crises continues unabated estimated that deaths from TB will cost the global economy close to US$1 trillion over the next 15 years.
More than 10 million people around the world get sick every year with tuberculosis, and 40 percent of them fail to be diagnosed, treated or reported by health systems.
Tedros said World Health Organization and the Stop TB Partnership called upon leaders and partners from all sectors to make bold and specific commitments as India was making today.
"And we will see it again in September, when Heads of State will gather at the UN High-Level Meeting on TB in NY", he said.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Health Ministers of Nigeria and Indonesia - Dr Nila Moeloek and Prof Isaac Folorunso Adewole also spoke on the occasion.
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