Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare informed that a new initiative, “Adopt people with TB” will be launched this year to provide TB infected people and families with nutritional and social support.
He stated this while addressing the 35th Board meeting of the Stop TB Partnership through video-conference.
Dr. Mandaviya also spoke about introducing a newly approved “made in India” TB infection skin test called ‘c-TB’” later this year to strengthen TB prevention activities. “This cost-effective tool will be of immense benefit to other high burden countries as well,” he added.
The Union Health Minister noted that 2022 is an important year since it is the target year for many of the commitments made in the UN High Level-Meeting (UNHLM) of 2018. He also laid stress on discussing bold and ambitious commitments in this Board meeting for the upcoming UNHLM of TB in 2023.
This initiative, the Minister stated, will be based on Indian values of collectivism in which corporates, industries, organisations, political parties and individuals will be called upon to come forward and adopt TB infected people and family to help them with nutritional and social support.
The Union Minister also emphasized that several new initiatives have been taken in India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to turn the crisis into an opportunity.He highlighted the role of initiatives like ‘bidirectional testing’ of TB with Covid, house-to-house TB detection campaigns, scale up of rapid molecular diagnostics at sub-district levels, use of Artificial Intelligence and Digital tools, Jan Andolan (peoples’ movement) and most importantly decentralization of TB services to Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres as part of comprehensive primary healthcare.
The minister also spoke about inviting the Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assemblies in the States, members of urban local bodies and panchayat representatives at the grassroots level to raise awareness and advocate for TB across the country.
The Union Health Minister noted that 2022 is an important year since it is the target year for many of the commitments made in the UNHLM of 2018. He also laid stress on discussing bold and ambitious commitments in this Board meeting for the upcoming UNHLM of TB in 2023.
Dr. Mandaviya reiterated India’s commitment to end TB and urged everyone to cooperate and collaborate at every level to achieve the “End TB” goals.Vice Chair of the Board Obiefuna Austin, Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership, Peter Sands, Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Dr. Teresa Caseva, Director, Global Tuberculosis (TB) Programme WHO, and other senior officials of the organization and allied development partners were virtually present at the meet.