India ready to lead from front in fight against TB: Mandaviya
Union health and family welfare minister Mansukh Mandaviya was addressing the 36th board meeting of Stop TB Partnership in Varanasi
Union health and family welfare minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Saturday said India is ready to lead from the front and be the voice of the Global South in the collaborative fight against tuberculosis (TB). He also stressed developing TB vaccines, saying it was the need of the hour.
“We have seen the unwavering commitment of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end TB in India,” he said while addressing the 36th board meeting of Stop TB Partnership in Varanasi. The minister further said India has identified three important health priorities under the G20 presidency. “All of these are focussed on universal health coverage and relevant to our response for TB elimination,” Mandaviya added.
“A lot of exceptional work is being done at the ground level through innovation in case finding, mathematical modelling, digital interventions and surveillance. India would be happy to share technical assistance with other countries to replicate such good practices,” he said.
The health minister emphasised that efforts are on not only to rebound from Covid but also bring innovative strategies such as the ‘Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan’, which has become a one-of-a-kind movement in the world. He said it is a call to action to mobilise communities to end TB.
Underscoring the crucial importance of the TB vaccine in the global fight against the disease, Mandaviya urged the Stop TB Partnership Board to deliberate on this and take up this matter at the UN high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage in September this year. “TB vaccine is needed urgently”, he said.
“It is also important to fast-track its development, expand the manufacturing capacities and help countries in its easy access,” the Union minister added.
Executive director, Stop TB Partnership, Dr Lucica Ditiu, stressed that “India has a pivotal role in eliminating TB because its progress will drive the world.” She also praised India for “doing very sophisticated modelling with its Ni-kshay data.”
“The innovations, ideas and strategies for bringing healthcare closer to people is something that the whole world can emulate,” she stated. The Stop TB Partnership Board appreciated India’s estimation of TB burden developed with in-country evidence.
An “Accountability Report of TB-affected Communities and Civil Society: Priorities to Close the Deadly Divide” was also launched at the event.
Union minister of state for health Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar; additional secretary, Union health ministry, Roli Singh; WHO regional director for South-East Asian region Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh and Vice-Chair, Stop TB Partnership, Austin Arinze Obiefuna were prominent among those present on the occasion.