India will eliminate tuberculosis by 2025: Modi

India will eliminate tuberculosis by 2025: Modi

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi launching the TB Free India Campaign, at the inaugural session of “END TB” Summit, in New Delhi on March 13, 2018.

Targeting the previous governments, Modi said the immunisation programme has been going on for the last 30-35 years and despite this the country could not achieve the target of a complete coverage till 2014.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday set deadline of 2025 to free India from tuberculosis (TB), five years ahead of the global deadline set by World Health Organisation (WHO). Moreover, the government of India has nearly doubled the budget for tuberculosis in the financial year 2017-2018, and has allocated an additional US$100 million for 2018-2019 to alleviate the financial burden on TB patients during the course of their treatment.

As State governments in the country have an equally important role to play in eradicating TB from the country, Modi said, he has written personally to all chief ministers to joint this campaign.

TB is the leading infectious killer in India.

Modi called for multi-sectoral engagement and participation of all stakeholders 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.

"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.

India is also implementing the National Strategic Plan for TB elimination that is backed by a funding of over ₹12,000 crore for the next three years to ensure every TB patient in the country has access to quality diagnosis, treatment, and support, he said.

He also stated that TB mainly affects poorest of the poor and every step taken towards the elimination of this disease is a step towards improving the lives of the poor.

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. In September, heads of state have a unique opportunity to raise their game and decisively shift the trajectory of the disease with the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on TB.

As India's Prime Minister Modi recently said: "We can not allow such human tragedies for a disease that is treatable and for which drugs and diagnostics are available in the public health care system".

He also urged the ministry of health to explore the potential of Ayurveda in treating TB and share the results with other countries.

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