Prime Minister Narendra Modi while launching the “Tuberculosis Free India Campaign” on Tuesday said that India is targeting for the complete eradication of the disease by 2025. Successfully meeting the target would mean that India would be able to eliminate the disease, five years ahead of the the global deadline of 2030.
Tuberculosis is one of the most deadly diseases in the country, with about 4 lakh people perishing due to it in 2016. A total of 28 lakh cases were recorded then. The biggest victims of the disease are known to be the poorest of the poor.
As per PM Modi, the government is in process of implementing a national strategic plan (NSP) for meeting the deadline which involves a funding of more than Rs 12,000 crores, which will be used to provide proper diagnostic, treatment and support for every TB patient. The efforts of the government also involve expanding public-private partnership models, using IT tools to monitor the adherence to the program and community engagement.
An India TB Research Consortium has been set up to boost the research regarding the disease. Besides this, via the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), the government has sought to provide a monthly Rs 500 incentive per patient for their nutritional support.
Modi claimed that owing to the state government’s important role in the fight against TB, he has written to the states asking them to join the government’s efforts against the disease. He while being on the subject also attacked the previous governments by claiming that despite having an immunisation program for 30-35 years, a complete coverage target could still not be achieved till 2014.
India though won’t need to wait till 2025 to see marked results as reports have claimed that 90% of immunisation coverage would be achieved within 2019. It has also been claimed the immunisation coverage has grown by about 6% in the last 3.5 years as compared to a partly 1% witnessed in years before that.