In what comes as a big relief, India has witnessed a 13 per cent reduction in TB incidence from 2015 to 2022, surpassing the global reduction rate of ten per cent, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said on Thursday.
Additionally, TB mortality in India has decreased by 15 per cent during the same period, as compared to the global reduction rate of 5.9 per cent, he said delivering the keynote address at a Quad Plus side event on Tuberculosis (TB) during the 76th World Health Assembly being held in Geneva.
Highlighting India’s proactive response to the TB epidemic, Dr Mandaviya said: “This year, we observed World TB Day at the One World TB Summit in India essentially highlighting the ethos of One World, One Health that our Prime Minister strongly believes in.”
He informed the gathering that India was the only country in the world to have developed its own mechanism for estimating its TB burden. By employing a mathematical model based on local evidence, India could now determine the true burden of the disease well ahead of the annual World Health Organisation report.
He also emphasised the significance of the upcoming UN High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on Tuberculosis, scheduled for September, as an opportunity to evaluate the collective progress made towards ending TB. He reaffirmed India’s commitment to striving to eliminate TB from the country by 2025, five years ahead of the global Sustainable Development Goal.
Recognising the importance of early diagnosis, treatment, and preventive measures, Dr Mandaviya said, “To identify all missing cases and reach the ‘unreached’, India has taken diagnostics and treatment to the patients at the last mile under the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister.”
“To ensure Universal Health Coverage to each and every patient, we have established over 1.5 lakh Health & Wellness Centres which provide TB diagnostics and care to all patients, along with a host of other primary healthcare services. This has been especially beneficial to people residing in hard-to-reach areas of our country, ensuring universal health coverage even in remote areas,” he added.
He also highlighted India’s successful collaboration with the private sector, enabling quality care for TB patients through their preferred centers, clinics, and doctors. As a result, notifications from the private sector have increased more than sevenfold over the past nine years.