India is ready to lead from the front and be the voice of the Global South in the collaborative fight against TB, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Saturday.
Addressing the 36th Board Meeting of the Stop TB Partnership here, Mansukh Mandaviya said the world has seen Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to eradicate TB in India.
Mandaviya said, “India has identified 3 important health priorities under the G20 Presidency. All of these are focused on universal health coverage and relevant to our response for TB elimination.”
A lot of exceptional work was being done at the ground level through innovation in case- finding, mathematical modelling, digital interventions and surveillance. “India would be happy to share technical assistance with other countries to replicate such good practices,” the minister stated.
He underlined that the effort was on not only to rebound from Covid but also bring innovative strategies like the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan which has become a one-of-its-kind movement in the world. He said that it was a ”Call to Action” to mobilise communities to end TB.
Highlighting the crucial importance of TB vaccine in the global fight against the disease, Mandaviya urged the Stop TB Partnership Board to deliberate on this and take up this matter at the UN High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage in September this year. “TB vaccine is needed urgently,” he emphasised. It was also important to fast-track its development, expand the manufacturing capacities and help countries in its easy access, the minister added.
Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership emphasised that “India has a pivotal role in eliminating TB because India’s progress will drive the world.” She also praised India for “doing a very sophisticated modelling with their Ni-kshay data.”
She said; “India’s innovations, ideas and strategies for bringing healthcare closer to people is something that the whole world can emulate.”
The Stop TB Partnership Board appreciated India’s estimation of TB burden developed with in-country evidence.