Delhi: The Union Health Minister also flagged off a van for the National TB Prevalence Survey. In all, 25 such vans will be part of the prevalence survey, which shall take 6 months and be carried out across the country. This shall present national and state level data, which will be used as a policy tool for further interventions.
He added that the Government is committed to ensuring all patients, irrespective of where they seek care (private sector included), receive free-of-cost, high quality TB care. “In line with the Honourable Prime Minister’s vision, we have introduced pivotal initiatives that are changing the way we diagnose, treat and prevent TB, and are on track to achieving our target of a TB-free India by 2025, much ahead of the global target of 2030,” he said.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said that we have now more than 300 TB Champions in the TB program. He applauded the courage of Ms. Chinmayi from Odisha who narrated her story of fighting brain TB, and how she turned into a strong advocate and supporter for efforts for TB control. “TB survivors like Chinmayi and many others who have shown exemplary courage to follow the course of treatment, should be given the opportunity to lead the way”, Dr Harsh Vardhan said. The Union Health Minister further added that India’s campaign to eradicate polio could be successful because of the thousands of volunteers who contributed to the cause. “Who were these people? These were people from all walks of life doctors, leaders, health workers, community members, faith-healers – and with their sustained and dedicated effort, India managed to eradicate polio. What we did with Polio then, we need to do with TB now,” he stressed. Dr Harsh Vardhan also awarded states for their excellent performance in tackling TB. Among states with a large population50 lakhs), Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat were awarded as best performers, while Tripura and Sikkim were recognized for their efforts among medium population (less than 50 lakhs) states. Puducherry, and Daman and Diu were judged as the best performers among Union Territories.