Will make In­dia TB-free be­fore rest of world: PM

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Nation - Anonna Dutt let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com ■

NEW DELHI: In­dia is push­ing to elim­i­nate tu­ber­cu­lo­sis (TB) five years ahead of a 2030 global tar­get by adopt­ing a “new ap­proach and strat­egy”, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi said on Tues­day.

“In­dia has set the goal of elim­i­nat­ing TB five years be­fore 2030, in 2025, with a new ap­proach and strat­egy,” the PM said while launch­ing the TB-free In­dia Cam­paign at the End-TB Sum­mit in New Delhi on Tues­day.

The new strat­egy would in­volve an ap­proach to re­duce new cases and preva­lence lev­els by 80% from the 2015 level and deaths from the dis­ease by 90%.

The coun­try is fo­cus­ing on ac­tive screen­ing and de­vel­op­ing new di­ag­nos­tic as­says and medicine com­bi­na­tions to treat dru­gre­sis­tant in­fec­tion to achieve its tar­get. With 2.79 mil­lion cases, 423,000 deaths on an av­er­age, and 211 new in­fec­tions per 100,000 peo­ple, In­dia has the high­est num­ber of TB pa­tients world­wide, WHO’s TB Re­port 2017 says.

To reach elim­i­na­tion lev­els, the gov­ern­ment’s Na­tional Strate­gic Plan has a goal of re­duc­ing new TB cases to 44 per 100,000 peo­ple, from a base­line of 217 per 100,000 peo­ple in 2015, and bring the rate of death down by 90% from 32 per 100,000 in 2015 to three per 100,000 in 2025.

Ac­tive screen­ing with mo­bile TB vans is be­ing used to de­tect un­di­ag­nosed in­fec­tions. In last two years, 55 mil­lion peo­ple from 378 dis­tricts have been screened.

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