Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, launched the new TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign, along with the National TB Prevalence Survey. Multi-stakeholder and community participation shall form the pivot of the countrywide campaign.
“As part of our commitment to end-TB, we have established patient forums in over 95 per cent of all districts in the first 100 days, which clearly shows our strong commitment to ending TB in the shortest time. These district forums will bring the voices of the affected to the fore, and highlight on-ground challenges faced by patients and their families in accessing TB care services”, he stated.
The Union Health Minister also flagged off a van for the National TB Prevalence Survey. In all, 25 such vans will be part of the prevalence survey, which shall take 6 months and be carried out across the country. This shall present national and state level data, which will be used as a policy tool for further interventions.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also released the TB India Report (2019), the Work Place Policy Framework for TB, Operational Guideline for Employer Led Model on TB, Training module for transforming TB survivor to TB champion, and Elected Representative’s Handbook on TB.
In addition to these, as an important step, the Union Health Minister also launched an all oral regimen kit for multi-drug resistant TB patients which does not include injections which are painful and can have side effects. He also announced a partnership with the World Bank which is providing a $400 million credit for accelerating TB response in 9 states through private sector engagement and other critical interventions. Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State (HFW) was also present at the launch of the campaign.
Highlighting some of the key features of the new TB control campaign, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated its three strong pillars include clinical approach, public health component and active community participation. Other supporting elements of the campaign comprise private sector engagement, patient support, and political and administrative commitment at all levels.