India will be TB-free by 2025, promises PM Modi

Sixty health organisations write to Narendra Modi seek compulsory licences for tuberculosis drugs

Sixty health organisations write to Narendra Modi seek compulsory licences for tuberculosis drugs

"We have set an aim to eradicate TB from India five years ahead by 2025", PM Modi said.

Targeting the previous governments, Modi said the immunisation programme had been going on for the last 30-35 years and despite that, the country could not achieve the target of complete coverage till 2014. According to stats, due to TB every year 1.7 million lost their lives across the country.

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 United Nations General Assembly at the Heads of State level.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a campaign to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025, five years ahead of a globally-set deadline.

He hoped that the renewed focus of his government on universal immunisation, clean India campaign and providing LPG connections to poor households will have a positive impact on the country's fight against TB.

State governments have a major role to play in the elimination of TB from India, Modi said, adding he has written to all chief ministers to join this mission.

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TB is the leading infectious killer in India, where there were an estimated 28 lakh new cases in 2016, with over 4 lakh people succumbing to the disease, including those who had TB as well as HIV.

He praised the ground level workers for their hard work and said, "Between TV and TB, it's easier to move away from the latter."TB Survivors can easily influence the disease-affected and they can help out in the programme, Mr Modi said while pointing out to a survivor from Bihar Siddheshwar Kumar Singh, who was sitting in the audience and had earlier shared his story". Had we continued at with the same pace, it would have taken us another 40 years to achieve the target.

Highlighting that most of TB's victims are poor, the PM said that the measures taken to eliminate TB will have a bearing on the lives of the poor.

The summit is being co-hosted by the Health Ministry, World Health Organisation (WHO) South East Asia Regional Office and Stop TB Partnership.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Health Ministers of Nigeria and Indonesia - Dr Nila Moeloek and Prof Isaac Folorunso Adewole also spoke on the occasion.

India is also implementing the National Strategic Plan for TB elimination that is backed by a funding of over ₹12,000 crore for the next three years to ensure every TB patient in the country has access to quality diagnosis, treatment, and support, he said.

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