New Delhi [India], March 23 (ANI): The Executive Director of the STOP TB Partnership, Dr Lucica Ditiu on Thursday said she has no hesitation to say that India will end Tuberculosis (TB) by 2025.
In an exclusive Interview with ANI, she said, “I think the financial resources will come and will basically facilitate the implementation of these activities and the last one is this, I think is important to decentralise as much as possible the services and to ensure that everybody goes closer to people with TB, in the periphery, in the smaller communities, in the villages in the small parts of cities and so on, to make sure that you know you create this foundation and the basis. If these three things will go with the ambition and the tools that we see now in India. I really have no hesitation to say that India will end TB by 2025.”
“I think it’s very important to maintain this political commitment. You know, in many countries, we observe that, for example, people rotate very often governments or ministers of health as well. But India is focused on TB. So the biggest challenge will be to maintain this political commitment. So I really hope that Prime Minister Modi together with a team of ministers of health and his TB programme will continue to focus on it,” she further said
Dr Lucica further explained that India plans to end TB by 2025.
“We are absolutely happy about it and extremely supportive. In real life, in general, nothing can be achieved if you don’t plan for it. And not only plan but also budget for it. So you see India was the first one in 2018 early 2018 When Prime Minister Modi took this very strong stance of saying we need to eradicate TB by 2025 and was very difficult. Basically, the entire team of the Ministry of Health and the government to make a plan, what it means, but unless you have a target like that, and you discuss, what it means and how much it costs, how am I going to do it, you will never even start thinking about it, leave aside, find the resources and do it. So that triggered the planning. A series of innovative approaches, a lot of bold actions and ambition and the results are being visible.”
“So we are actually very happy, not only for Indian people, because that’s the most important, but also for the world, because we have an example that other countries can and should follow. I have just, how to say, congratulations and applaud India’s plan for ending TB,” She said
On India recently launched the Ni-kshay Mitra (Donor) programme wherein anyone can adopt TB patients and take care of their medicine, food and even vocational expenses. In a short time, nearly 1 million TB patients have been adopted. How do you see this programme she said,
“This is an amazing policy and India has put a lot of innovative tools in place. There is no other country in the world that had this idea which is fantastic. It brings empathy and love for the person near you and the desire to help. And you know I will challenge all the countries in the world to put that in place. Because you will never understand what it means to have TB, as much love and empathy we have, till you really know somebody. Actually, I want to announce that very likely, in the coming days, I also want to adopt 10 people with TB in India as part of this effort. I would like this to be the effort of this year, because it generates this enthusiasm, supporting the ones that need our voice. India also has this amazing plan of providing 500 rupees to every single person with TB per month. There is no other country in the world that gives even half a rupee per month.”
“The level and the scale at which India is planning this to do. I know there are always people around who say that this should have been done in that way or other, but if it is done at a level that is unprecedented, and the way it is done here in India and we have no other countries doing it. We observe other countries moving and learn from these experiences, looking at what India does. For us at STOP TB, this is like amazing,” Dr Lucica Ditiu said. (ANI)