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India Must Mobilize Resources To Fully Implement National Strategic Plan For TB Elimination

Devex: Opinion: In India, eliminating tuberculosis isn’t just a health issue — it’s an economic one
Madhukar Pai, Canada research chair in epidemiology and global health at McGill University, Montreal, director of McGill Global Health Programs, and associate director of the McGill International TB Centre; Jorge Coarasa, senior economist with the health, nutrition, and population global practice of the World Bank

“Last month, India’s finance minister announced the government’s plan to eliminate tuberculosis by 2025 during the unveiling of the country’s Union Budget for 2017-2018. This is a welcome move: While ridding people of the burden of any disease is a worthy goal by itself, TB elimination provides perhaps one of the strongest economic cases for public intervention. … Three weeks after the bold target of eliminating TB in India by 2025 was announced, India’s Revised National TB Control Program published a draft of a new National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination 2017-2025 — which if approved, funded, and fully implemented, could be a game change in the fight against TB in India. … The cost of implementing the new NSP is estimated at $2.5 billion over the first three years, a steep increase over the current budget. … India must start backing its ambitions with rupees. Therefore, the real test of whether the bold plan by the Health Ministry can be implemented and the ambitious target set by the Finance Ministry achieved will be whether enough resources can be mobilized to find, treat, and offer quality care to all TB patients, regardless of where they seek care” (3/23).

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