During his address to ministers of Member Nations of WHO, Heads, and Representatives of UN Agencies and partner organisations, India’s Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, has accorded high priority to ending tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
He further reiterated India’s commitment towards affordable and quality TB care, for which the government is providing cash incentives through Direct Benefit Transfers for nutritional support. Since April 2018, Rs. 7.9 billion (around USD 110 million) have already been distributed to over 3 million beneficiaries.
Praising the efforts by India towards ending TB, Dr. Vardhan said, “With bold and innovative policies supported by commensurate resources, India has taken several critical steps towards ending TB. We have significantly reduced the number of missing TB patients from one million in 2016 to less than 0.5 million in 2019, with 2.4 million cases notified during the year. Most importantly, a third of these notifications were contributed by the private sector. With the scale-up of rapid molecular diagnostics in every district of the country, we were able to identify over 66,000 drug-resistant TB patients in 2019.”