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Home / India News / India will be able to end tuberculosis by 2025: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare

India will be able to end tuberculosis by 2025: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has accorded high priority for ending tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare.

india Updated: Sep 24, 2020, 10:28 IST
Asian News International | Posted by: Alfea Jamal
Asian News International | Posted by: Alfea Jamal
New Delhi
Union Minister for Health Harsh Vardhan in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020.
Union Minister for Health Harsh Vardhan in the Lok Sabha during the ongoing Monsoon Session of Parliament, in New Delhi, Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. (PTI)

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has accorded high priority for ending tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), said Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare. Addressing ministers of Member Nations of WHO, Heads, and Representatives of UN Agencies and partner organisations, Dr Vardhan said, “In India, under the guidance of Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, India has accorded high priority for ending tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).”

“Tuberculosis has been in existence since time immemorial and continues to remain a major global public health problem. Despite the progress made over the last decade, TB remains the leading infectious killer disease worldwide,” he said. Lauding India’s efforts towards eradication of TB, Harsh Vardhan said, “With bold and innovative policies supported by commensurate resources, India has taken several critical steps towards ending TB. We have significantly reduced the number of missing TB patients from one million in 2016 to less than 0.5 million in 2019, with 2.4 million cases notified during the year. Most importantly, a third of these notifications were contributed by the private sector. With the scale-up of rapid molecular diagnostics in every district of the country, we were able to identify over 66,000 drug-resistant TB patients in 2019.”

He pointed out that poverty is a powerful determinant of tuberculosis and undernutrition an important risk factor of developing active TB disease. “To address this, we are providing cash incentives through Direct Benefit Transfers for nutritional support and since April 2018, Rs 7.9 billion (around USD 110 million) have been distributed to over 3 million beneficiaries. Affordable and quality TB care is a priority for our Government”, he stated. The Minister further spoke about India’s fight against COVID-19 and said: “We reached a historic low in the month of April with lockdown in full force, but through sustained efforts, we have managed an increase of 43 per cent in May and another 25 per cent in June.”

To mitigate the impact, the government has been issuing constant advisories to the States to ensure convergence of TB case finding with COVID-19 efforts, he said adding that “we have initiated bi-directional screening among TB and COVID patients, and screening for TB among influenza like illness (ILI) and severe acute respiratory infections (SARI).”

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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