A Guidance Note on Joint Action Plan for Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination, a Special Edition of Tribal Ministry’s Publication ‘ALEKH’ on TB, and a document on Tribal Tuberculosis (TB) Initiative was also released at the event.
The Union Health Minister noted the topical need to organize the event. He highlighted that India witnessed over 18.04 lakh TB notifications, notwithstanding the difficulties presented because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its related regulation/preventive strategies.
“In spite of all the unforeseen challenges of COVID 19, the Government of India was able to convert all those into opportunities for TB Elimination by introducing bidirectional screening for COVID-19 and TB, strengthening diagnostic networks and combining TB screening in COVID surveillance activities,” Vardhan said.
The Ministers were apprised that over 104 million tribal population lives in India, across 705 tribes, accounting for 8.6 % of the country’s population.
As many as 177 tribal districts were identified as high priority districts where physical remoteness, malnutrition, poor living conditions and lack of awareness contribute to the vulnerability of the tribal population to TB.
Initially, the activities of the joint plan will be focusing on 161 districts across 18 identified States, officials said.
Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda and Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey were present on the occasion.