Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a campaign to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025, five years ahead of a globally-set deadline. After inaugurating the Delhi End-TB Summit here, the prime minister launched the TB-free India Campaign to take the activities under the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination forward in a mission mode for ending the epidemic by 2025.
“A target has been set to end TB globally by 2030. I would like to announce that we have set aim to eradicate it from India five years ahead by 2025,” Modi said. He stressed on analysing the situation and changing the approach, saying that efforts to curb tuberculosis has not yield successful results yet and said state governments have a major role to play in elimination of TB from the country.
He further said that front-line TB physicians and workers can make a major contribution in this direction. “State governments have a major role to play in elimination of TB from India. I have written to all chief ministers to join this mission,” Modi said, adding it would boost the spirit of cooperative federalism. He further said that TB was the most prevalent among communicable diseases in the country and the poor were the worst affected by it. Every step taken towards eradicating the disease is directly connected to their lives, he added.
Leaders from across the globe have converged in the national capital for the summit, hosted by the Union Ministry of Health along with the WHO and the Stop TB Partnership. TB was responsible for 1.7 million deaths in 2016, despite most cases being curable while over 10 million people contract TB every year. The summit would set the stage for the September 2018 United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB, where for the first time, TB would be discussed in the UN General Assembly at the Heads of State level.