United Nation’s Special Envoy on Tuberculosis visits India

Dr Eric Goosby, United Nation’s Special Envoy on Tuberculosis was on a five day visit to India from 7-11 August 2017.

The visit was aimed at understanding the goal and challenges of the national TB programme and discussing how India can transform its bold plans into progress on TB elimination.

In this context, Dr Goosby engaged with the Indian leadership to lend his support in further accelerating the momentum towards ending TB and working towards TB elimination in the country.

Dr Goosby’s visit comes at an opportune time. There is strong momentum towards ending TB and working towards TB elimination in India. The TB programme has political commitment at the highest level – the Prime Minister, the Finance Minister and the Health Minister. This has re-invigorated the TB programme.

The government has taken steps to prioritize TB care and management, especially with the launch of the National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Elimination 2017-2025. The plan, with aggressive targets, aims to ‘bend the curve’ towards TB elimination. The civil society too is playing an important role in the fight against TB and complementing government’s efforts.

During his visit, Dr Goosby met stakeholders across the board.

In Mumbai, he met with senior officials of Mumbai Municipal Council; Principal Secretary, Department of Public Health, Government of Maharashtra, NGOs and civil society; private sector practitioners and drug manufactures among others. He also interacted with patients and frontline health workers.

In the Delhi leg, Dr Goosby called on the senior Indian leadership, including Union Health Minister, Union Health Secretary, Secretary - Department of Health Research, Director General Health Services, Economic Advisor to Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and officials of the Central TB Division. He also meet TB partners and other UN agencies.