“When a welfare scheme is made in the interest of people, its chances of success increase manifold”, said Smt. Droupadi Murmu, the Hon’ble President of India, as she exhorted everyone to fight together to eradicate tuberculosis in the spirit of Jan Bhaagidari on a war footing and introduced the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan.
Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union’s Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, the Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, as well as other dignitaries, attended the inaugural ceremony.
The virtual event reaffirmed India’s commitment to eradicating high-burden infectious diseases by 2025, five years ahead of the global goal of 2030. The state and district health administrations, representatives from corporates, industries, civil society, NGOs, and TB champions attended the virtual event.
Additionally, the President announced the Ni-kshay Mitra initiative to provide additional diagnostic, nutritional, and employment support to those receiving TB treatment. She urged elected officials, businesses, non-profit organisations, and individuals to step forward as donors to aid the patients in completing their road to recovery.
The Ni-kshay 2.0 site will help in enhancing community engagement in reaching India’s pledge to eradicate TB by 2025, offering more patient assistance to enhance treatment outcomes for TB patients, and using Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) possibilities.
The virtual launch ceremony highlighted India’s National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP) progress, which has accelerated due to high-level commitment. During the occasion, the Hon’ble President of India praised the residents, community leaders, and healthcare professionals for their diligent efforts in controlling the COVID-19 epidemic and emphasised the importance of using a similar, all-encompassing strategy to eradicate TB from the nation.
The President reaffirmed the need for achieving universal health coverage to guarantee that everyone has access to high-quality, reasonably priced healthcare at all levels of the healthcare system. She expressed confidence in the critical role played by the enhanced healthcare system in accomplishing the aim of TB eradication while highlighting the advancements made under the Ayushman Bharat plan in this endeavour. She emphasised the need for a greater understanding of TB treatment options because the illness is treatable. At government hospitals, the therapy is provided without charge.
The Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan, according to Union Health Minister Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, “is a continuation of Hon’ble Prime Minister’s citizen-centric policy.” Achieving pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021, he based his assessment of the TB program’s performance on important metrics including notifications of new cases of the disease and persistent efforts that resulted in monthly notification reports.
The Union Health Minister stressed that a 360-degree strategy is the cornerstone of TB eradication in India and said that the aggressive goal of TB eradication by 2025 requires a societal strategy that unites people from all backgrounds into a Jan Andolan.
Approximately 13.5 lakh TB patients are enrolled on the Nikshay site, of which 8.9 lakh active TB patients have given their approval for adoption, according to Dr. Mandaviya. The Ni-kshay digital portal will offer a venue for TB patients to get community assistance. In order to ensure that no one with TB is left behind, he invited all people, NGOs, business entities, elected leaders, etc. to support the campaign by joining Ni-kshay Mitras and hosting events to discuss the idea.