New Delhi [India], July 18 : Union Health Ministry on Thursday signed an MoU with the Ministries of Defence, Railways and AYUSH to eliminate tuberculosis from India by 2025.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Minister of State for Health Ashwini K Choubey and Minister of AYUSH Shripad Nayak.
With four lakh new cases of TB reported in the country every year, the Health Ministry along with the collective efforts of other Central government bodies plans to make India TB free.
"We have aimed for -- TB Harega, Aur Desh Jeetega. Today, the Health Ministry has signed MoU with three different ministries -- Defence, Railways, and AYUSH to fight against TB. We have made an aggressive plan to make the country TB free. We have involved all stakeholders, NGOs, and other concerned agencies to combat TB," Union Health Minister Dr Harsha Vardhan said while talking to .
Dr Harsh Vardhan recalled how India fought with the polio menace around 25 years back when he was the Health Minister of Delhi.
"If we can eradicate the polio-like disease from our country, eliminating TB is not difficult at all. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we have made a target to make India TB free by 2025," added Dr Harsh Vardhan.
"ECHS is a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Defence for ex-servicemen welfare. The aim of the scheme is to provide quality healthcare at more than 400 polyclinics. So, now these polyclinics will identify TB cases if any and refer it for diagnosis," a senior Health Ministry official said.
"As a lot of people travel through Railways and many stay at railway shelter homes. Hence, officials from Railways will find out TB cases from their shelter homes and patients will be referred for further treatment," he said.
Similarly, the Ministry of AYUSH will see if there is any possibility of medicine and drug which can help prevent the disease. But we have to see how effective the medicine would be, he said.
Patients who are suffering from TB get all medical expenses by the government regardless of taking treatment at the private hospitals.
( With inputs from ANI )