With an aim to review ongoing efforts and accelerate action to reach the 2030 TB eradication goal, the End Tuberculosis summit was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, March 13. Speaking at the summit, PM Modi stressed upon the importance of eliminating the infection from India and announced a TB eradication mission aiming to end the disease by 2025, five years earlier than the target set by the World Health Organisation (WHO). “I would like to announce that we have set the aim to eradicate TB from India by 2025,” the Prime Minister said at the summit being held in Delhi.
One of the top ten causes of death worldwide, tuberculosis clocks up approximately 2.8 million cases and nearly half a million deaths on an annual basis in India. In 2016, TB was responsible for 1.7 million deaths despite most cases being curable, while over 10 million people contract TB every year. “We have not been successful in curbing Tuberculosis yet. I believe that if something doesn’t yield result even after 10-15 years then we need to change our approach. The situation needs to be analyzed,” PM Modi added. Leaders from across the globe have converged in the national capital to attend the summit, including ministers from all the states across India. Acknowledging the same, PM Modi said, “The fact that several ministers from all states and concerned officers are present in the event here, indicate how we, as ‘Team India’, are determined to eradicate TB from the country.” Highlighting India’s commitment to end TB, Modi said, “The pace with which the program to eradicate TB in the nation was moving forward earlier, it would have taken us another 40 years to achieve it. Today I’m confident that in the duration of 1 year we’ll be able to achieve 90% immunization.”