Varanasi: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the One World TB Summit at Rudrakash Convention Centre in Varanasi, today. He also launched various initiatives including the TB-Mukt Panchayat, the official pan-India rollout of a shorter TB Preventive Treatment (TPT), the Family-centric care model for TB and the release of India’s Annual TB Report 2023.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of the National Centre for Disease Control & High Containment Laboratory and inaugurated the site for the Metropolitan Public Health Surveillance Unit in Varanasi.
The Prime Minister also awarded select States/UTs and districts for their progress towards ending TB. The recipients of the awards were Karnataka and Jammu & Kashmir on the State/UT level and The Nilgiris, Pulwama and Anantnag at the district level.
Executive Director of Stop TB, Dr Lucica Ditiu remarked that the summit is taking place in one of the oldest cities in the world, Varanasi to discuss a thousand-year-old disease in the world i.e Tuberculosis or TB. She said that India has a very high burden of TB but with the best plan, ambition and great implementation of activities.
She also underlined the global welfare embrace of India’s G-20 Presidency and explained the importance of the theme – One World One Health. She said that India is on the road to ending TB by 2025 under the leadership of the Prime Minister. She said due to the efforts of countries like India, the number of people who are not getting diagnosis and treatment for TB has gone below 3 million for the first time in history.
She praised India’s scale in tackling TB and the TB Free India initiative and expressed the belief that India will end TB by 2025 with India’s support. She also informed about the UN high-level meeting on TB taking place on 22nd September during the UN General Assembly in New York and also requested the Prime Minister’s presence in the meeting. She also urged the Prime Minister to lead and inspire other world leaders in this fight against TB.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister expressed delight that the One World TB Summit is taking place in Varanasi and noted that he is also a Member of Parliament from this city. He underlined that the city of Kashi is like an eternal stream that has witnessed the hard work and efforts of humanity for thousands of years. “No matter the obstacle, Kashi has always proved that new ways are created with ‘Sabka Prayas’ (everyone’s effort)”, he remarked. He expressed confidence that Kashi will usher new energy towards global resolutions in the fight against a disease like TB.
The Prime Minister highlighted that as a country, the reflection of India’s ideology can be seen in the spirit of Vasudev Kutumbakam i.e the whole world is one family. This ancient ideology, the Prime Minister said, is giving an integrated vision and integrated solutions to the advanced world of today.
He noted that as the G20 President, India chose the theme of ‘One Family, One World, One Future’ based on such beliefs. “The theme of G20 is a resolution for the shared future of the entire world”, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister noted that India is forwarding the vision of ‘One Earth, One Health’ in the world and underlined that it is realizing the resolutions of global good with the One World TB Summit.
The Prime Minister said that the commitment and determination with which India dedicated itself to tackling TB after 2014 is unprecedented. India’s efforts are important, the Prime Minister said, as this is a new model for the global war on TB. He elaborated on a multi-pronged approach against TB in the last 9 years. He listed people’s participation, enhancing nutrition, treatment innovation, tech integration and wellness and prevention such as Fit India, Yoga, and Khelo India type of interventions.
Regarding people’s participation, the Prime Minister talked about the Ni-kshay Mitra Campaign in helping TB patients. He informed that about 10 lakh TB patients have been adopted by citizens and even children aged 10-12 years have come forward. Financial help to the TB patient under the programme has reached up to one thousand crore rupees. He termed the movement ‘inspirational’ and expressed happiness that even Pravasi Indians are participating in this.
Noting the major challenge of nutrition for TB patients, the Prime Minister highlighted the contributions of Ni-kshay Mitra Campaign in helping TB patients. He underlined that the government had announced a Direct Benefit Transfer scheme for TB patients in 2018 and as a result, approximately Rs 2000 crores have been directly transferred into their bank accounts for their treatment, where more roughly 75 lakh TB patients have benefitted from this. “Ni-kshay Mitras have now become a new source of energy for all TB patients”, the Prime Minister said.
Noting that it is extremely difficult to arrive at new solutions by practicing outdated ways, the Prime Minister said that the government has worked with new strategies so that TB patients do not fall out of their treatment. He gave examples of initiating the Ayushman Bharat Scheme for the screening and treatment of TB, increasing the number of testing labs in the country and formulating region-specific work policies by targeting cities where the number of TB patients is high.
Along similar lines, the Prime Minister informed that a new campaign called ‘TB Mukt Panchayat Abhiyan’ is also being launched today. He also highlighted that the government is starting a 3 months treatment programme for the prevention of TB instead of a 6-month course. He informed that earlier, the patients had to take medicines for 6 months every day but now, in the new system, the patient will have to take medicine only once a week.
The Prime Minister informed about the tech integration in the TB Free India campaign. He said that Ni-kshay Portal and the use of data science are going a long way in this regard. He said that the Health Ministry-ICMR developed a new method for sub-national disease surveillance that has made India, apart from WHO, the only country to have this kind of model.
Noting the declining number of TB patients and today’s award to Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister mentioned another major resolution of India to eliminate TB by 2025 as against the global target of 2030. Referring to the capacity and health infrastructure enhancement during the pandemic, the Prime Minister underlined the high use of Trace, Test, Track, Treat and Technology, in the fight against the disease. “There is a massive global potential in this local approach of India”, he said emphasizing the need to collectively use that potential.
He informed that 80 percent of TB medicines are made in India. “I would like that more and more countries get the benefit of all such campaigns, innovations and modern technology of India. All of the countries involved in this summit can develop a mechanism for this. I am sure, this resolution of ours will definitely be fulfilled – Yes, We can End TB”, the Prime Minister added.
Recalling the contributions of Mahatma Gandhi towards eliminating leprosy, the Prime Minister shared an incident when Gandhi Ji was called to inaugurate a leprosy hospital in Ahmedabad. He recalled that Gandhi ji told the people present on the occasion that he would be happy when he sees a lock hanging on the doors. The Prime Minister lamented that the hospital continued the same way for decades and there was no end to leprosy.
He highlighted the campaign against leprosy was given new momentum in the year 2001 when the people of Gujarat gave him the opportunity and informed that the rate of leprosy in Gujarat reduced from 23% to less than 1%. He pointed out that the leprosy hospital was shut down in the year 2007 when he was the then Chief Minister of the state. He also highlighted the role of social organizations and public participation in this and expressed confidence about India’s success against TB.
“Today’s New India is known for achieving its goals”, the Prime Minister said and gave examples of achieving the pledge to be Open Defecation Free, achieving the target of solar power generation capacity as well as the target of ethanol blending of fixed percentage in petrol ahead of schedule. “The power of public participation is boosting the confidence of the whole world”, he remarked and credited the success of India’s fight against TB to public participation. He also urged everyone to pay equal attention to making TB patients aware of the disease.
The Prime Minister also informed about the steps taken for the expansion of health services in Kashi also. The National Centre for Disease Control’s Varanasi branch was inaugurated today. The Public Health Surveillance Unit also started functioning. He mentioned the Child Care Institute in BHU, the modernization of blood banks, modern trauma center, super-speciality block and Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Center where more than 70 thousand patients have received treatment.
He also mentioned Kabir Chaura Hospital, District Hospital, dialysis facilities, CT scan facilities and the expansion of health services in the rural areas of Kashi. More than 1.5 lakh patients received free treatment under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme in Varanasi and more than 70 Jan Aushadhi Kendras are providing affordable medicines to patients.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister underlined that India is engaged in the campaign to eradicate TB by making use of the nation’s experience, expertise and willpower. He also noted that India is constantly ready to help every country in need. “Our campaign against TB will be successful only with Sabka Prayas (everyone’s efforts). I believe, our efforts today will strengthen the foundation of our secure future, and we will be in a position to hand over a better world to our future generations”, the Prime Minister concluded.
Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Anadiben Patel, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Brijesh Pathak and Executive Director of Stop TB, Dr Lucica Ditiu were present on the occasion among others.
On the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day, Prime Minister will address the One World TB Summit. This summit is being organised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Stop TB Partnership. Founded in 2001, the Stop TB Partnership is an organisation hosted by the United Nations that amplifies the voices of the people, communities, and countries affected by TB.
During the event, the Prime Minister launched various initiatives including the TB-Mukt Panchayat initiative; the official pan-India rollout of a shorter TB Preventive Treatment (TPT); the Family-centric care model for TB and the release of India’s Annual TB Report 2023. The Prime Minister also awarded select States/UTs and districts for their progress towards ending TB.
In March 2018, during the End TB summit held in New Delhi, the Prime Minister called on India to achieve TB-related SDG targets by 2025, five years ahead of the stipulated time. One World TB Summit will provide an opportunity to further deliberate upon the targets as the country moves forward to meet its TB elimination objectives. It will also be an opportunity to showcase learnings from National TB Elimination Programmes. International delegates from over 30 countries are scheduled to be present at the summit.