WHO applauds Indian leadership on ending TB

30 March 2023, Geneva | On the occasion of World TB Day, the honourable Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi launched multiple initiatives to support India’s ambitious plan to end TB ahead of the global targets. This launch was part of the One World TB Summit, a high-level TB summit convened by the Government of India in collaboration with Stop TB Partnership. The summit was attended by ministers of health and senior government officials from 35 countries and key global partners including the World Health Organization (WHO).

“India bears the highest burden of TB in the world, however the country has demonstrated  significant high level political commitment and action towards ending the disease,” said Dr Tereza Kasaeva, Director of WHO’s Global TB Programme. “We applaud the leadership of the Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi in pursuing ambitious targets backed by a substantial increase in domestic funding, and implementation of innovative approaches and multisectoral actions to fast-track the TB response in the country. This provides inspiration to other countries and leaders to prioritise ending TB, especially in the lead-up to the 2023 UN High Level Meeting on TB.”

Key initiatives launched by the Government of India which are good examples of multisectoral action and community engagement include:

1. TB Mukt Panchayat Abhiyan Initiative (campaign to end TB at the village level). This intervention involves the local self-government ministries and aims to enhance awareness about TB in the community, increase ownership and empower more than 500,000 villages in India to support national efforts in TB prevention and care.

2. Shorter TB preventive treatment regimen roll-out: The Government of India is emphasizing the importance of TB prevention and has drawn ambitious plans to offer TB preventive treatment using the shorter 3HP regimen across the country.The Ministry of Health is making substantial investments for the procurement of millions of patient courses and is enabling incentives for providers to support the national scaleup of 3HP over the next two years.

3. Family-centric care model for TB: The Ministry of Health developed guidance and launched a programme to support family caregivers. This includes easy-to-use tools for counselling and capacity building in the form of videos, animations, and brochures in local languages offered on Internet and mobile phone-based platforms.

4. Ni-kshay Mitra Campaign: Recognizing the major challenge of nutrition for people with TB, the campaign calls on citizens to embrace and support TB patients through their TB treatment journey in different ways including nutritional support. About 1 million TB patients have already benefited from this campaign and it has also proven useful in enhancing awareness about TB and addressing stigma, as well as building community ownership and resources.

5. Direct Benefit Transfer scheme: Since 2018, the Government of India has been providing cash incentives to TB patients aimed at improving nutrition. This has benefitted nearly 8 million TB patients over the past 5 years, with about US$260 million disbursed.

The honourable Prime Minister of India highlighted a 5-pronged strategy to curb TB consisting of Trace (finding people with TB), Test (with rapid molecular diagnostics), Track, Treat and use Technology and innovative approaches to expand national programme capacity to deliver effective TB services. The Prime Minister called upon other countries to benefit from the lessons and experiences from India and join hands for a better world for future generations.

WHO across all three levels remains committed to continue its close collaboration with the Indian government and people in their efforts to end TB.

Source: World Health Organization

India TB Report 2023 is out and can be downloaded here.

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By World Health Organization

Published: March 30, 2023, 7:59 p.m.

Last updated: March 31, 2023, 11:42 p.m.

Tags: TB programs

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