Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar today chaired the brainstorming session on Strategies for Ending TB by 2025.
Reiterating Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s commitment to eliminate TB in India by 2025, five years ahead of the SDG targets, Dr Pawar said, “We have a mere 37 months before the deadline to end TB in the country. We need to shift gears and come up with innovative solutions to make up for the setbacks due to COVID-19 and move beyond.”
Highlighting the commitment of India towards eliminating TB, the Union Minister of State said, “Despite the pandemic, we have managed to scale up access to free rapid molecular diagnostics and treatment. Financial and nutritional support to TB patients continued unabated. Efforts made by the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme led to significant improvements in time-to-diagnosis, treatment adherence and outcomes. As proper diagnosis and prompt treatment are key to TB elimination, the Programme is working towards accelerating Universal TB Care coverage and preventive services in the country. TB preventive treatment has been prioritized under the pillar of “Prevent” in the National Strategic Plan to end TB. Scaling up TB Preventive Treatment and at the same time decentralizing it to bring services closer to patients, are of utmost importance to break the chain of transmission and breakdown of those with TB infection into full-blown TB disease.”
Highlighting the Union Government’s efforts for TB eradication, she added: “TB has now been made an essential part of Comprehensive Primary Health Care and is integrated with Ayushman Bharat scheme. Our aim is to detect cases early and prevent the emergence of new cases of TB by expanding TB care through engagement of various stakeholders, including the community. The nationwide TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan has been launched in this regard.” Mentioning the introduction of newer anti-TB drugs, newer regimens and programmes, Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar appreciated the research and development efforts to combat TB.
The session focused on 5 pillars including improving case detection, improving treatment adherence, evolving ways to converge with other social welfare programs, utilizing and refining private sector engagement and finally integration of NTEP within our Health system for accelerating TB eradication in the country.