Committed to UNITE TO END TB: Leave no one behind

To intensify action to End TB and commemorate the World TB Day 2017, WHO Country Office for India in collaboration with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India organized a consultation with the underlying theme of UNITE TO END TB: Leave no one behind.

The consultation was aimed at generating support for the approval and resourcing of the new National Strategic Plan 2017-2025 and creating general awareness in the community about the End TB Strategy.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr J. P. Nadda, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare said, “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.”

Ending TB is a development challenge and opportunity. It requires intensified action across government ministries, communities, the private sector and civil society. “After witnessing the tremendous commitment of Member States and partners, I have decided to establish the eighth regional flagship on accelerating efforts to end TB by 2030. Achieving this will now be among WHO’s regional priorities. On behalf of WHO, I express my full commitment to work with each of you to make this happen,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director, South-East Asia at a Ministerial Meeting on TB in New Delhi recently.

In his address, Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India acknowledged the political commitment at the highest level – the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Health Minister in re-invigorating the TB programme

He further highlighted, “The National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Elimination 2017-2025 is a major step forward in India’s fight against TB; it is about building partnerships towards ending TB.”

Dr Henk congratulated the Health Minister on recognizing the challenge of engaging with the private sector and including it in the National Health Policy 2017 as part of the solution to ending TB.

The following initiatives were launched at the consultation:

  • Swasth E-Gurukul: A digital e-learning platform
  • Annual TB Report 2017
  • Guidance document on Nutrition Support for Tuberculosis Patients
  • National Framework for Joint TB-Diabetes collaborative activities
  • A TB awareness media campaign

Also present on the occasion were; Mr C. K. Mishra, Secretary Health, MoHFW; Dr Jagdish Prasad, Director General Health Services, MoHFW; Dr Arun Panda, Additional Secretary & Mission Director, National Health Mission, MoHFW; Mr Arun Kumar Jha, Economic Advisor, MoHFW; Dr Sunil Khaparde, Deputy Director General (TB), MoHFW; and other senior officers of the Health Ministry, representatives of WHO, World Bank and other development partners.