Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, launched the "Tribal TB The initiative" with Shri Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, in the presence of Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, to achieve Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's cherished goal of a "TB Mukt Bharat."
The event also saw the issuing of a Guidance Note on the Joint Action Plan for Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination, a Special Edition of the Tribal Ministry's Publication "ALEKH" on TB, and a paper on the Tribal Tuberculosis (TB) Initiative.
Importance of the Event
The Union Health Minister emphasized the importance of holding the event now. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated regulation/preventive strategies, he noted that India received over 18.04 lakh TB notifications.
“Despite all the unexpected challenges of COVID 19, the Government of India was able to transform them into opportunities for TB Elimination by implementing bidirectional COVID-19 and TB screening, strengthening diagnostic networks, and integrating TB screening in COVID surveillance activities,” he said.
Since health is a holistic concept informed by all facets of life, the importance of multisectoral cooperation with different Ministries and Departments to reach out to the most vulnerable population groups was emphasized to meet the 2025 elimination goal.
What changes came into effect on World TB Day, this year?
On World TB Day this year, De Harsh Vardhan reaffirmed that the UT of Lakshadweep and the district of Badgam in Jammu & Kashmir were declared TB-free, while several other States and districts across the country were recognized for their progress toward achieving the SDGs related to TB.
“This government places a high emphasis on ensuring universal access to free TB treatment and care across the country,” he added.
In India, over 10 million tribal people are living with a wide range of population dynamics. Our government can see improvements in their health indices and general well-being as a result of their relentless efforts.
In the last five years, the government has quadrupled the budget allocation for tuberculosis in India. High-quality medicines, diagnostics, digital initiatives, creative private-sector interventions, and community involvement interventions are all aligned to help the country rapidly reduce tuberculosis incidence and mortality.”
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