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Government is committed to achieving zero TB deaths: JP Nadda

Health Ministry launches new initiatives to combat TB. #India vs TB, TB- Free India campaign features Amitabh Bachchan, TB survivor and Ambassador for TB-Free India

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Ensuring affordable and quality healthcare to the population is a priority for the government and the government is committed to achieving zero TB deaths and therefore India needs to re-strategize to end TB by 2025,” JP Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said at a function on the occasion of ‘World TB Day’, in New Delhi on Friday. 

The Health Minister announced that the National Strategic Program (NSP) will be finalized in one month and will be rolled out across the country. He further added that the resources will not be a constraint and the Government will continue to work with all stakeholders, in devising short term and long term approaches. Nadda also emphasized on the need for compassion in treatment of TB patients. 

Acknowledging substantial progress made by the Government in combating TB, Nadda said that TB control and India’s National TB Control Programme has been recognized as one of the most successful Public Health Programmes. He further added that TB is a disease which is largely curable and preventable. Still we are facing this task of high incidence and on top of it Drug Resistant TB. 

On the occasion, the Health Minister also released Annual TB Report – TB India 2017, Guidance document on Nutrition Support for Tuberculosis Patients, National Framework for Joint TB-Diabetes collaborative activities, Swasth E-Gurukul TB and TB Awareness Media Campaign featuring Shri Amitabh Bachchan. 

The Ministry will soon be announcing the new National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination (2017-2025) which will provide a framework to guide all stakeholders, including state governments, development partners, civil society organizations, international agencies, research institutions, the private sector, and many others, to realise the Prime Minister’s vision of achieving TB elimination by 2025, five years before the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target. 

The campaign theme #IndiavsTB symbolizes India’s fight against TB and “TB Harega, Desh Jeetega” is the tagline of the campaign. The campaign is is developed by International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Challenge TB. The campaign films featuring Amitabh Bachchan have been directed by famous Bollywood Director Shoojit Sircar, the print campaign has been shot by ace photographer Daboo Ratnani and DDB Mudra has created the campaign.

Speaking about the campaign, Kavita Ayyagari, Project Director, Challenge TB, The Union said, “The problems that the campaign address are that people take symptoms of TB lightly; people stop TB treatment mid-way once they feel better; are unaware that TB can recur and become drug-resistant; and that TB is not just an illness but also a social disease that impacts not only the patients but their children and families.”

Shootjit Sircar, director of the TV advertisements for this campaign, added, “This is an important and essential campaign and the messages must be spoken as loudly as possible. The messages of the campaign are serious, but we wanted to introduce some situational humour, which we have done in the two TV advertisements featuring Bachchan.”
 

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