Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India has set a target for complete elimination of Tuberculosis (TB) by 2025, five years ahead of the global target of 2030.
Launching the TB Free India Campaign at ‘Delhi End TB Summit’, Modi said his government is implementing a national strategic plan (NSP) to end TB by 2025 with funding of over Rs12,000 crore for the next three years to ensure every TB patient has access to quality diagnosis, treatment and support.
“The global target for eliminating TB is 2030, but I announce that the target for India to eliminate TB is 2025, five years before the global target. TB mainly affects the poorest of the poor and every step taken towards the elimination of this disease is a step towards improving the lives of the poor,” said Modi.
Since state governments play an important role in this, Modi said he has personally written to the state governments to join government’s efforts to eliminate TB, strengthening the spirit of cooperative federalism.
“We are starting new scheme for nutritional support, expanding public-private partnership models and aligning our strategies to follow the similar success we got in HIV /AIDS. We are using Information Technology (IT) tools for monitoring the programme and treatment adherence. Community engagement is the hallmark and it is becoming a social movement to end TB in India,” Union health minister J.P. Nadda said.
The new NSP adopts a multi-pronged approach which aims to detect all TB patients with an emphasis on reaching TB patients seeking care from private providers and undiagnosed TB in high-risk populations, treat all patients irrespective of where they seek care adopting a patient-centric approach, prevent emergence of TB in susceptible population groups and build empowered institutions and human resources to streamline implementation, Nadda said.
TB is the leading infectious killer in India. There were an estimated 28 lakh new cases of TB in 2016, with over 4 lakh people succumbing to the disease, including those with TB and HIV. Under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), the government has also proposed an incentive of Rs.500 per patient per month for the nutritional support of TB-affected patients during the course of the treatment.
“The states have the option for providing these incentives in cash or kind. The ministry has formulated the guidance document on nutritional care and support for TB patients which includes guidance on nutritional assessment, counselling and appropriate dietary advice. The programme is also facilitating the TB patients to avail various social support schemes of the state governments,” minister of state, health and family welfare Anupriya Patel told Rajya Sabha.