The Times Of India
March 19, 2023
India to be tuberculosis-free by 2025, five years before world target, says Mansukh Mandaviya
PANAJI: While the world has pledged to end the tuberculosis epidemic by 2030, India has advanced the deadline and plans to terminate it by 2025.
“India’s agenda is to end TB by the end of 2025. It is not just an announcement. We are working to meet the target,” said Union minister of health and family welfare Mansukh Mandaviya, while addressing G20 delegates at the primary health centre, Corlim on Tuesday, the last day of the health working group meeting.
Mandaviya said Accredited Social Health Activists (Ashas) proved crucial in mitigating the covid crises. Now, Ashas are helping to put a stop to the TB epidemic. There is one Asha per 200 families.
“India has 1.5 million TB patients. They have been adopted by volunteers who provide them nutritious food,” he said. “We are fighting TB with the help of the community and hope to put an end to the epidemic by 2025.”
The government, he said, gives every TB patient free medicines and Rs 500 a month. At health and wellness centres set up across the country, 171 medicines are provided free of cost, and diagnostic facilities are also provided, he said. “It is not easy to do all that for a diverse and huge country like India with a 1.3 billion population.”
Mandaviya offered G20 delegates various local dishes made from ‘nachne’ at a specially set up stall to mark the International Year of Millets, during a field visit to Corlim on Tuesday
India, he said, is very progressive in the health sector and is fighting illnesses with a holistic approach.
G20 delegates were shown the digital health facilities available at the PHC Corlim and the health and wellness centre. Goa has over 201 Ayushman Bharat health and wellness centres to provide primary care. Screening facilities for non-communicable diseases are also available at these centres.
The Union health minister lauded Goa’s progress in the health sector.
Union minister of state for health and family welfare, Bharti Pawar, said it was a matter of pride for India that despite challenges during the pandemic, over 220 crore were vaccinated. The delegates were also taken on a visit to the Jan Aushadhi Kendra, a generic pharmacy store, in Panaji.
In his concluding remark, Mandaviya expressed the need for a formal global coordination mechanism to build medical countermeasures.