NEW DELHI, Sept 9: President Draupadi Murmu on Friday urged citizens to work collectively towards the elimination of TB from the country by 2025 on a war footing, as she virtually launched the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan.
Lauding the government’s initiative to provide community support to TB patients through the ‘Ni-kshay 2.0’ portal under which TB patients can be adopted and cared for by an individual, elected representatives or institutions, she urged everyone to make the campaign a mass movement.
“When a welfare scheme is made in the interest of people, its chances of success increases manifold,” she said in her address.
Murmu said that of all the infectious diseases, the maximum number of deaths occur due to tuberculosis.
“While India has a little less than 20 per cent of the world’s population, it has more than 25 per cent of the total TB patients of the world. This is a matter of concern,” Murmu said, noting most of the people affected by TB come from the poor section of society.
The President also launched the ‘Ni-kshay Mitra’ initiative to ensure additional diagnostic, nutritional, and vocational support to those on TB treatment, and encouraged elected representatives, corporates, NGOs, and individuals to come forward as donors to help the patients complete their journey towards recovery.
The ‘Ni-kshay 2.0’ portal will facilitate in providing additional patient support to improve treatment outcomes of TB patients, augmenting community involvement in meeting India’s commitment to end TB by 2025 and leveraging Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) opportunities.
The president said India has set an example to the world in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. The policy of ‘New India’ to move forward with confidence is also visible in the field of TB eradication.
According to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), all nations have set the goal of eradicating TB by the year 2030. But the Government of India has set the target of eradicating TB by the year 2025 and efforts are being made at every level to fulfil this resolution.
The President said to make this campaign a mass movement, awareness about TB has to be created among the people.
Its treatment is effective and accessible and the government provides a free-of-cost facility for the prevention and treatment of this disease, she said.
Everyone should be aware that TB germs are often present in everyone’s body. When the immunity of a person, due to some reason, decreases, then this disease expresses itself in the person, Murmu said.
With treatment, one can definitely get rid of this disease. All these things should reach the people. Then the people affected by TB will be able to take advantage of the treatment facilities, she said.
The Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan has been envisioned to bring together all community stakeholders to support those on TB treatment and accelerate the country’s progress towards TB elimination.
Referring to a video shown at the event, Murmu said the video showed how under the active guidance of the UP Governor, the efforts to treat and curb the incidents of TB gained momentum in the most populous state of the country.
The Governor has provided a vision towards extending the government’s reach and support among TB patients of all ages, she said.
Seeking support of the LGs and Lt Governors, Murmu said their guidance in state UTs will inspire the local administration and health departments in their efforts to eradicate the disease. Besides, NGOs and industrial bodies will also be encouraged.
“I firmly believe that with the involvement of public representation the campaign will gain strength,” she said while highlighting the need to collectively fight the stigma attached with the disease.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya stated that “the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan is an extension of Prime Minister’s citizen- centric policies.”
He attributed the success of the TB programme on key indicators such as TB case notifications and consistent efforts that led to monthly notification reporting to reach pre-pandemic levels by end of 2021.
Mandaviya informed that there are roughly 13.5 lakh TB patients registered in the Ni-kshay portal, out of which 8.9 lakh active TB patients have given their consent for adoption.
The Ni-kshay digital portal will provide a platform for community support for persons with TB. He urged all citizens, NGOs, corporate houses, elected representatives etc, to support the movement by becoming Ni-kshay Mitras and convene gatherings to discuss the initiative, so no one with TB is left behind.
Highlighting the importance of a patient-centric healthcare system, Mandaviya lauded the contribution of supportive schemes such as the Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana, which provides Rs 500 through DBT to those on TB treatment as nutritional support.
He appreciated the diverse patient support programs operated by the states to address the socio-economic impact of TB.
He also called upon the elected representatives, leaders of the corporate world, and other influential community voices to join the Jan Andolan for TB elimination by extending nutritional, diagnostic, and vocational support to people on TB treatment. (PTI)