Prime Minister Narendra Modi set 2025 as the deadline for India to achieve complete elimination of Tuberculosis (TB) from the country. Speaking at inaugural ‘Delhi End TB Summit’ on Tuesday, the PM called for coordination between the Centre and the states to achieve the goal.

“The world has set 2030 as the deadline to eliminate TB. Today I announce that we have set 2025 as the deadline for India,” the PM said at the Summit which was attended by ministers and concerned officials of all the states.

Highlighting that most of TB’s victims are poor, the PM said that the measures taken to eliminate TB will have a bearing on the lives of the poor.

“In India, TB has the maximum impact among communicable diseases. It is mostly the poor who are the victims of this disease. Thus every step taken for the elimination of TB is directly connected to the lives of the poor,” he said.

PM Modi also underlined the work being done by the government to correctly identify TB victims, ensure that active cases are known on time, and whether the medicines that are being prescribed are effective. Steps have also been taken to see whether the TB under treatment is drug-resistant.

Modi said that he had personally written to the chief ministers of all the states to join in this campaign because the task cannot be fulfilled without their participation.

Taking a dig at the UPA government, the PM pointed out that though immunisation campaigns have been on in the country for the last 35 years, the target of complete immunisation had not been achieved till 2014.

“We were progressing at the rate of just 1 per cent,” said the PM, adding that at that pace it would have taken another 40 years to achieve complete immunisation.

“The rate of immunisation rose to 6 per cent in the last 3-and-half years and we will achieve 90 per cent immunisation coverage by next year,” the PM said.

“Even the most difficult of things can be achieved, but for that we need to fix a target. If there is no target, there will neither be speed nor direction and neither will we ever reach the destination,” the PM told the gathering.

He also congratulated all frontline TB physicians and workers as well as those affected by the disease for their determination to defeat TB through proper medication.

“I am positive that ‘Delhi End TB Summit’ will be hailed as a landmark event in the quest to eliminate TB from the world,” the PM said.

Among those who present at the Summit were Union Health Minister JP Nadda, Union MoS Health Anupriya Patel, and WHO Director General TA Ghebreyesus.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), a total of 19,36,158 cases of TB were reported from India in 2016.