Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare today interacted with State Health Ministers and Principal Secretaries/ Additional Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs in the presence of Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, to review the progress made in the fight against TB through focussed and concerted efforts of the Union Government and the States.
Health Ministers of States including T.S. Singh Deo, Health Minister (Chhattisgarh), Mangal Pandey, Health Minister (Bihar), Anil Vij, Health Minister (Haryana), Satyendra Kumar Jain, Health Minister (Delhi), Rajesh Tope, Health Minister (Maharashtra), Naba Kishore Das, Health Minister (Odisha), Rajiv Saizal, Health Minister (Himachal Pradesh), Banna Gupta, Health and Medical Education Minister (Jharkhand), Dr. K. Sudhakar, Minister of Medical Education (Karnataka), Veena George, Health Minister (Kerala), Raghu Sharma, Health Minister (Rajasthan)attended the meet on behalf of their States.
The Union Health Minister expressed his elation at the convergence of focus to eliminate TB and suggested the continuance of regular interaction so that best practices of States/UTs may be discussed and taken up for emulation. These will strongly contribute to focussed and effective implementation of common policies and to achieve these goals collectively. “Coordinated and collaborative efforts will strongly contribute to achievement of shared goals faster”, the Union Health Minister stated.
He noted, “We have to encourage common people to join us in this mission for eradicating TB. It has to be made a people’s initiative.”Mandaviya assured that the Union government is open to all suggestions from the States/UTs on Tuberculosis in its mission to fulfil Prime Minister’s dream of a TB Free India by 2025. He also encouraged the States and UTs to provide suggestions on the Public Health Management of COVID and other programs and initiatives of the Union Health Ministry.
On the threat to the gains made against TB due to COVID-19, he spoke on the ramping up of COVID Vaccination in the recent days. Mandaviya highlighted the importance of vaccinating all teachers by the 5th of September for which additional doses are being provided to the States. In this regard, he also suggested the States to initiate specific vaccine drives on particular days to vaccinate certain communities which are directly dealing with people, like vegetable vendors in markets or rickshaw pullers in a particular area. He assured all the State Health Ministers that the Centre remains in constant touch with the vaccine manufacturers as for resolving any possible bottleneck as vaccine production is increased month on month. He encouraged states to ensure that COVID protocols are continued to be followed and no laxity in shown due to improved situation in the country.
Invoking the framework of cooperative federalism, Dr. Pawar underscored the need to work together by multiplying our efforts to eliminate TB in the next three years. She appreciated the various steps taken during COVID Pandemic like bi-directional screening of TB and COVID and the doorstep delivery of TB drugs. She exhorted the entire team of health administers to undertake extensive active case finding and said, “Jan jan ko jagana hain, TB ko bhagana hain.”
All the States/UTs working with the TB program attending the event communicated the impact of their work in the past few years and shared their plans to support the movement to eliminate TB by 2025.
Rajesh Bhushan, Union Health Secretary, Arti Ahuja, Additional Secretary (Health), Dr. Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary (Health), and other senior officials of the Ministry were also present at the event.