US, WHO sign agreement for TB control in India | india | Hindustan Times
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US, WHO sign agreement for TB control in India

The US is giving WHO Rs 19 crore for research and state level implementation of the national disease control program.

india Updated: Sep 26, 2006 15:13 IST

The US ambassador to India David C Mulford and World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to India Salim Habayeb today signed a joint agreement for tuberculosis control in India.

The US is giving WHO Rs 19 crore for research and state level implementation of the national disease control program.

"Our government supports tuberculosis control in India because of the enormous public health impact and economic burden of the disease," Mulford said.

Two of every five Indians are infected with the TB bacillus. Of them, 10 per cent will develop TB disease during their lifetime, according to the latest Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) report Tuberculosis: Burden of the disease in India by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Every day, about 5,000 people develop the disease and around 1000 die. Every year, almost 1.8 million new cases occur in the country, of which almost half are infectious.

Highlighting US-India cooperation on medical research, Mulford said, "US President (George W) Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have agreed to expand joint efforts in the area of science and technology, including medical research to addres issues of global concern such as infectious disease control."

The joint statement emphasises the sustained commitment of the US for International Development (USAID) to provide finanial and technical support to WHO for strengthening RNTCP.

US has invested 183 crore in the fight against TB in India since 1998. The ambassador said TB kills more adults in the most produc ive age group (15-24 years) than any other infectious disase. The economic costs of the disease is USD three billion per year."