Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday reiterated India’s commitment to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the global target of 2030.
“India is determined to address the challenge of TB in mission mode. I am confident that India can be free of TB by 2025,” Modi said at the inauguration of ‘End TB Summit.’ TB is the leading infectious killer in India, where there were an estimated 28 lakh new cases in 2016, with over 4 lakh people succumbing to the disease, including those who had TB as well as HIV.
Targeting the previous governments, Modi said the immunisation programme has been going on for the last 30-35 years and despite this the country could not achieve the target of a complete coverage till 2014. “The pace of the immunisation coverage earlier was inching ahead by just a percent. Had we continued at with the same pace, it would have taken us another 40 years to achieve the target.
“However, in the last 3 to 3.5 per years it has increased by 6 per cent and by the next year, we will achieve 90 per cent immunisation coverage,” he said while citing the progress on Mission Indradhanush as an example of how “new approaches” could turn things around.