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Strong Financial, Political Commitment To Improving India’s Health System Needed For TB Elimination Plan To Succeed

The Conversation: India’s ambitious new plan to conquer TB needs cash and commitment
Madhukar Pai, director of global health and professor at McGill University

“…Earlier this year, India’s Revised National TB Control Program published a draft of a new National Strategic Plan (NSP) for TB Elimination 2017-2025. The NSP, if fully funded and well implemented, could be a game changer in the fight against TB in India. … India’s National Health Policy, approved this year, proposes to increase health expenditure by the government from the existing 1.15 percent to 2.5 percent of the GDP, by 2025. Ensuring this increase should be an urgent priority for India, and an absolute requirement if India is to make progress towards universal health coverage. … India has the potential to make great progress against [TB]. What is essential is a strong financial and political commitment from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to end the TB epidemic, and an overall greater investment in health. When health becomes a priority for India, TB will naturally decline, as will many other conditions that currently make India rank so poorly in health-related [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)]” (10/3).