With aim to end tuberculosis by 2020, Harsh Vardhan announces free treatment for all

Assures nutritional support and financial assistance

By Kundan Pandey
Published: Wednesday 29 October 2014

image The Central government is now planning to provide free diagnosis and treatment to all tuberculosis (TB) patients. The facility will be given to those being treated in government as well as private hospitals.

The announcement was made by Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). He also said that steps were underway to ensure that patients are provided with nutritional support and relevant financial enablers. The announcement was made by the minister at World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global TB symposium, titled ‘Moving out of the box to end global epidemic: with post-2015 strategy’.

“TB is a by-product of poverty,” Harsh Vardhan pointed out. “I strongly believe TB control should be taken up by everyone as a development issue. The responsibility of TB control needs to move from doctors to medical administrators and politicians. That I wear all these hats is pure coincidence and, indeed, an opportunity to lessen the suffering of mankind,” the minister added. 

TB-Mission 2020

Harsh Vardhan announced that under the evolving “TB-Mission 2020”, he has instructed concerned officials to work hard to achieve considerable success over the next five years. In his view, a distant target date would not demand of his team the kind of accountability that would be naturally ensured if the objective is brought forward.

Notably, India is on top in the list of countries carrying high burden of the disease. The fact has been highlighted in the Global Tuberculosis Report-2014 published WHO recently which disclosed that the country has more than two million cases of tuberculosis.

Global tuberculosis report 2014

Improving tuberculosis prevention and care through addressing the global diabetes epidemic: from evidence to policy and practice

Lives saved by tuberculosis control and prospects for achieving the 2015 global target for reducing tuberculosis mortality

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