PTI Sep 25, 2019, 08.50 PM IST

New Delhi: The government is building a national movement through a multi-sectoral and community led approach to eliminate Tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the global target, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Wednesday. The Centre has also increased allocation of funds for the TB programme by four-folds, he said after releasing the 'India TB Report 2019'.

The Union minister got emotional during his address as he recalled how his brother-in-law died because of multidrug resistance TB (MDR-TB) following prolonged illness. Vardhan was then Delhi's health minister.

"Even though, he was admitted to a top Delhi government hospital, and despite, I being the (Delhi) health minister, we could not save him. So, we have to build a national movement to eliminate the disease," Vardhan said.

In 2018, 21.5 lakh TB cases were notified to the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), a 16 per cent increase over 2017 and the highest so far, the report said.

Moreover, notifications from private sector health care providers reached 5.4 lakh, an increase of 40 per cent, contributing to 25 per cent of all TB notifications, it said.

"By employing a multi-sectoral and community led approach, we are building a national movement to eliminate TB by 2025. Accordingly, we have increased allocation towards the TB programme by four-folds and are confident of achieving our target," Vardhan said

Under the National Strategic Plan for ending TB (NSP 2017-25), the RNTCP is strengthening private sector engagement in order to reach out to more TB patients and improve access to TB care through the patient provider support agency (PPSA) and provision of incentives to doctors for notifying TB patients and treatment outcomes.

"As a result, of these initiatives, of the total notifications, 25 per cent (5.4 lakh) cases were from the private sector, a 40 per cent increase from the last year. This PPSA model has now been scaled up to 48 cities throughout the country," Vardhan said.

Besides, 79 per cent of patients notified for TB in 2017, from both the public and private sectors, have successfully completed their treatment, while 49,733 cases were detected due to the efforts of the active case finding campaign, for which 14.4 crore vulnerable people were screened.

The Central TB Division, which manages the RNTCP, launched an 'accelerator to national strategic plan' at the event to improve and expand the reach of TB care services by 2022.

The division is a nodal department at the health ministry.

The plan aims to initiate preventive and promotive approaches, and proposes potentially transformative interventions such as engagement with private sector health care providers, inter-ministerial partnerships, corporate sector engagement, latent TB infection management and community engagement.