Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that the country would have taken another 40 years to eradicate tuberculosis if it continued at its earlier pace.
Inaugurating the first “End TB Summit” in New Delhi, Modi reiterated his government’s plan to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025, five years before what the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals aim at. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had set the goal in its National Strategic Plan for 2017-2025.
The ministry is co-hosting the summit with the World Health Organization and Stop TB Partnership.
“Every step to eradicate tuberculosis concerns the lives of the poor, as the disease hurts them most,” Modi said at the summit. He said the government was doing “massive work” to ensure that active TB cases are identified at the right time and the right medicines are given.
He also invoked cooperative federalism as a way to counter the disease. In December 2017, he had written to chief ministers of states, asking them to hold quarterly reviews of the tuberculosis control programme.