Govt is committed to achieve zero TB deaths, says health minister

On World TB Day, Union health minister J P Nadda said that the government is committed to bring TB (tuberculosis) deaths at zero level.

“Ensuring affordable and quality healthcare to the population is a priority for the government and we are committed to achieving zero TB deaths and therefore we need to re-strategize, think afresh and have to be aggressive in our approach to end TB by 2025,” he said at a function in Delhi on Friday on the occasion of World TB Day.

He said that the National Strategic Programme (NSP) will be finalised in one month and will be rolled out across the country.

The minister further added that the resources will not be a constraint and the government will continue to work with all stakeholders, in devising short term and long term approaches.

Nadda also emphasised on the need for compassion in treatment of TB patients.

Acknowledging substantial progress made by the government in combating TB, the minister said that TB control and India’s National TB Control Programme has been recognised as one of the most successful Public Health Programmes.

TB is a disease which is largely curable and preventable, he said, and lamented that still we are facing this task of high incidence and on top of it Drug Resistant TB.

“Drug resistant TB is a growing threat and the diagnosis and treatment is much costlier. We have gone deep into the reason of such a situation and have decided to take a head on attack on the root cause of the disease,” Nadda said.

Speaking at the function, he informed that the government has made case notification mandatory.

“A high proportion, almost 92 per cent of TB patients with HIV has been put on antiretroviral therapy.

The health minister further stated that the government has rolled out more than 500 CBNAAT machines in one year, offering rapid quality diagnostics, linking at least one such machine for each district and these steps have led to 35% rise in the Drug Resistant TB case notification in 2016. “New anti-TB drug Bedaquiline has been introduced under Conditional Access Programme (CAP) to improve outcomes of drug resistant TB treatment,” he elaborated.

The minister further said that IT based E-Nikshay platform have been made user friendly so that private doctors find it easy to notify. T

Nadda reiterated that keeping TB at bay is everyone’s responsibility, including the private sector to provide quality TB care to all TB patients.

Story & Pic Sources: PIB

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