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Posted at: Mar 14, 2018, 12:52 AM; last updated: Mar 14, 2018, 12:52 AM (IST)

PM sets 2025 deadline for tuberculosis-free India

Accounts for 28 lakh annual new TB cases against 104 lakh worldwide; mortality too highest in India
PM sets 2025 deadline for tuberculosis-free India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda at the inaugural session of End TB Summit in New Delhi on Tuesday. Courtesy: PIB

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said India would eliminate tuberculosis by 2025, qualifying his promise with the remarks that destinations can only be reached when goals are set and the direction of journey determined.

“Unless you set a goal, you won't reach the destination nor will you know which path to follow," Modi said as he inaugurated a two-day Delhi End TB Summit being attended by health ministers of some South East Asian Region nations of the WHO.

Though participating experts welcomed the PM's target on TB, they admitted it looked ambitious against the backdrop of prevailing statistics on TB in India. Everyone, however, agreed that political will to end TB was the first step towards eliminating the debilitating disease and that will had been exhibited both by the PM and Health Minister JP Nadda today.

As of today, India contributes 27 per cent of the annual global incidence of TB. As against 104 lakh annual new TB cases worldwide, India alone accounts for 28 lakh.

TB mortality is also the highest for India. Globally, 16.74 lakh TB deaths are recorded annually and India witnesses 4.23 lakh.

Indian contribution to global TB mortality burden is 26 per cent, which means almost one in every four persons dying worldwide due to the disease is an Indian.

Same is the case with HIV/TB deaths. The global data shows there are 10.30 lakh HIV/TB deaths. In India, the deaths in this category are 87,000 (8 per cent of the world's burden of deaths of persons suffering from HIV and TB, common co morbidities).

The most dangerous trend is the rising numbers of multi-drug resistant and extreme drug resistant cases in India. As against six lakh annual cases in this category worldwide, India alone reports 1.47 lakh (24 per cent of all world's burden of MDR tuberculosis).

The PM and Nadda both said today that the government would engage the private sector to reach every missing case of TB (out of 28 lakh new annual infections in India, just about 17 lakh are notified and the rest go missing).

As much as 50 per cent of the TB patient load is believed to go to the private doctors, resulting in poor treatment compliance which causes the multi-drug resistant TB to rise.

The health Ministry has now asked every state to ensure chemists implement the guidelines for scheduled H1 drugs and do not disburse TB medicines over the counter.

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