PM launches campaign to eradicate TB by 2025

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reviewed progress of Open Defecation Free (ODF) targets in four states - Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, and Jammu and Kashmir, and emphasised on converting the ODF mission into a mass movement. "State governments have a major role to play in elimination of TB from India".

There was an estimated 28 lakh new cases of TB in 2016, with over 4 lakh people succumbing to the disease, including those with TB and HIV.

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PM Modi reiterated that we should change our approach and try to focus on eliminating from TB from the country. TB free India Campaign will take the activities of National Strategic Plan for TB elimination forward in Mission mode. "The pace of the immunisation coverage earlier was inching ahead by just a percent".

Whether it is "Start-up India" or "Mudra Yojana", he said, the Modi government has sought to explore innovative methods of generating livelihood and employability.

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"The rate of immunisation rose to 6 per cent in the last 3-and-half years and we will achieve 90 per cent immunisation coverage by next year", the PM said. He added that expert TB physicians and workers can make a great positive impact in this campaign. Had we continued at with the same pace, it would have taken us another 40 years to achieve the target. He said those patients who overcome this disease also inspire others.

Also present on the occasion were Union Minister for Health J.P. Nadda; Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel; Director-General, WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; former director, Stop TB Partnership, Ms. Lucica Difiu; along with Health Ministers from 20 countries. While the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB will be held in September, this year and future course of action will be decided in the UN General Assembly. The National Strategic Plan for TB elimination is backed by funding of over 12,000 crore rupees over the next three years to ensure every TB patient has access to quality diagnosis, treatment, and support.

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