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Vice President urges private sector to step up efforts to achieve the goal of eliminating TB by 2025

The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has called for developing a new and long-lasting vaccine to combat TB, which was one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide in 2018.

Inaugurating ‘The 50thUnion World Conference on Lung Health’ in Hyderabad, he referred to the contention that the effect of BCG vaccine beingadministered for TB does not last for many years and said there was an absolute need for a booster vaccine or a new vaccine that is effective and long-lasting. The four-day Conference is being attended by the delegates from 130 countries.

He expressed happiness that the Indian Government has initiated trials for testing new candidate vaccines.

Calling for addressing various causes that spread TB, including poverty and overcrowding, Shri Naidu said that prevention was the most effective way to control the spread of TB and said that more efforts were needed in that direction. Lifestyle disorders such as diabetes also increase the risk of TB, he pointed out.

Stressing the need for improved diagnostics to detect TB in organs other than lungs, he said that TB treatment saved around 58 million lives globally between 2000 and 2018 and the TB mortality rate fell by 42% during that period.

Expressing concern over the rising incidence of respiratory and lung-related diseases due to air pollution, he observed that exposure to ambient air pollution could lead to reduced lung function, respiratory infections and aggravated asthma.

Shri Naidu called for measures to arrest this pressing problem by adopting a multipronged approach to reduce emissions of harmful gases, especially which come under PM 2.5 levels.

Quoting WHO data, he said ambient (outdoor air pollution) was a major cause of death and disease globally. An estimated 4.2 million premature deaths globally are linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections in children.

Lauding the government for adopting a multi-sectoral and community-led approach to eliminate TB from India by the year 2025, Shri Naidu urged the private sector to step up its efforts towards achieving the goal of eliminating TB by actively collaborating with the government.

Stating that Government of India was in the forefront of global action to end the emergency on account of the prevalence of Lung Disease and Tuberculosis, he said that the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, has pledged a firm commitment to eradicate TB by the year 2025

Referring to the positive outcomes of initiatives such as the Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) that brought down TB incidence in India at an annual rate of 1.7%, the Vice President said Public and Private sector must work together to reach out to more TB patients and provide them affordable treatment.

The Vice President said Public and Private sector must work together to reach out to more TB patients and provide them affordable treatment.

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