On the occasion of World TB Day, the Centre has decided to establish an "aggressive" national strategy in a month to end tuberculosis in the country by 2025, Union Health Minister J P Nadda said today.
"Ensuring affordable and quality healthcare to the people is the government's priority. We are committed to achieving zero tuberculosis deaths. Therefore, we need to re-strategise, think afresh and be aggressive in our approach to end TB by 2025", he said at a programme here.
"The National Strategic Program (NSP) will be finalised in a month and will be rolled out across the country. The vision of NSP is a TB-Free India. This programme aims at rapid decline of the tuberculosis burden", Nadda said.
The minister said the 'Active Case Findings' initiative, which was launched in January in 17 states and covered 50 districts in the first phase to treat TB among vulnerable population groups, will be rolled out in 130 other districts by the end of this year.
"We are going ahead with Active Case Findings with better preparation in 130 more selected High Risk districts to bring TB cases under treatment early. This would reduce the number of deaths, transmission of the disease and also its drug-resistant variant", he said.
Nadda also said the 'Daily Regimen' which have been found to be more effective and is till now is being implemented in five states will be rolled out across the country this year.
Observing that India has the highest number of TB cases in the world, he said the government has heightened its actio nto meet the 'End TB' target by 2025.
"Drug-resistant TB is a growing threat and its diagnosis and treatment is costlier. We have decided to attack the root cause of the disease head-on", Nadda said.
Informing that the government has made notification of TB cases mandatory, he said, "Almost 92 per cent of TB patients with HIV has been put on anti retroviral therapy."
"The government has distributed more than 500 CBNAAT machines for rapid quality diagnostics in a year, with atleast one such machine for each district. This step has led to35 per cent rise in notification of drug-resistant TB cases last year", Nadda said.
At the event, the minister launched 'India vs TB', a campaign for early identification of tuberculosis symptoms propagating the importance of its treatment. The campaign features Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan.
The campaign has been developed by International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), ChallengeTB.