Yesterday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the global Delhi End TB Summit and expressed the willingness and resolve of his government to make India free of tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the global target.
The participating countries signed the 'Delhi End TB Summit Statement of Action', which calls for increasing budgetary and human resource allocations by governments and stakeholders to ensure that their national TB plans are fully funded and medical care for the disease is supplemented with social and financial protection in a holistic manner.
The 'Statement of Action' expressed concern that most low-burden countries are yet to establish last mile programmes for the early eradication of tuberculosis.
It also reiterated a firm intent "to implement a response in each of our nations that is demonstrably adequate for ending TB by 2030 and meeting milestones for 2020 by collectively reaching out to the missing two million TB cases and 1,50,000 multidrug-resistant cases".
"India stands committed to its 'TB-free country' resolve by 2025. It shall also extend all support to member countries of WHO SEARO region in meeting their respective goals of becoming TB-free" Union Health minister J P Nadda said.
"It is an opportune moment for India to co-host the Delhi Summit, as the world galvanises its efforts to end TB by 2030," Nadda said as countries participating in the summit signed and adopted the statement of action at the end of the event here.
The minister said India shall also set an example for other countries by freeing itself of tuberculosis by 2025.
The Delhi End TB Summit Statement of Action identifies the roles, responsibilities and directions of the member countries of WHO SEARO region to make their countries free of tuberculosis.
It recommends increased attention, investment and efforts for tackling the region's major burden of tuberculosis, and notes that the response has strengthened further as a result of the Delhi Call for Action, a strategic, action-oriented roadmap initiated by the countries on March 16 last year.
The statement unanimously commits for "actualising and intensifying essential actions already agreed upon in the Delhi Call for Action".
The multi-sectoral and empowered national initiatives in member states would engage various government departments, the private sector and civil society, including members of the affected community, in monitoring progress, and a national accountability framework will be established accordingly.
The 'Statement of Action' read, "We the health ministers and delegates of the WHO South-East Asia Region, unanimously make these detailed and fare-reaching commitments so as to operationalise the roadmap of the Delhi Call for Action 2017. By ensuring rapid, concrete and measurable progress on these actions, each and every member state and partner in the Region will finally bring the ending of TB within reach.
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