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

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"I would like to announce that we have set aim to eradicate it from India five years ahead by 2025".

The Prime Minister further informed that immunisation coverage in the country has increased more than six percent in the last three-and-a-half years. According to stats, due to TB every year 1.7 million lost their lives across the country.

Reiterating the government's commitment, Union minister for health and family welfare J P Nadda said the National Strategic Plan to end TB by 2025 rolled out by the government has already been appreciated by the global community as a model plan for combating TB.

Speaking at the "End TB summit", the Prime Minsiter said, "2030 has been set as the target around the world for eradicating TB, but I would like to announce that we have set the aim five years ahead of it, that is, we aim to eradicate TB from India by 2025". Moreover, the government of India has nearly doubled the budget for tuberculosis in the financial year 2017-2018, and has allocated an additional US$100 million for 2018-2019 to alleviate the financial burden on TB patients during the course of their treatment.

Tedros said World Health Organization and the Stop TB Partnership called upon leaders and partners from all sectors to make bold and specific commitments as India was making today.

He said TB mainly affected the poorest of the poor and every step taken towards the elimination of this disease was a step towards improving the lives of the poor.

PM Modi after launching the Delhi End-TB Summit, launched the TB-free India Campaign to take the activities under the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination forward in a mission mode. "The target is set", said Modi in his inaugural address at Delhi End TB Summit at Vigyan Bhawan.

TB is the leading infectious killer in India.

"We have had a long journey in eradicating TB and have not been totally successful n wiping out the disease so a change in approach was required, " he said.

The Prime Minister also listed down other measures like Swachh Bharat Mission, the Ujjwala Yojana, Nutrition Mission and National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) for medical insurance that would help India eradicate TB by 2025.

India has the highest burden of tuberculosis in the world-each year, 29 lakh new cases of TB are reported; 4.20 lakh people, mostly poor, are known to die of the disease.

With the funding of over Rs 12,000 crore over the next 3 years, the motto of the NSP is to ensure every TB patient has access to quality diagnosis, treatment, and support.