Har Har Mahadev!
The Governor of Uttar Pradesh Smt. Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Shri Yogi Adityanath ji, Union Health Minister Shri Mansukh Mandaviya ji, Deputy Chief Minister Shri Brijesh Pathak ji, Health Ministers of various countries, Regional Director of WHO, all dignitaries, representatives of various organizations, including STOP TB Partnership, Ladies and Gentlemen!
It is a matter of great pleasure for me that the ‘One World TB Summit’ is being held in Kashi. Fortunately, I am also the MP from Kashi. The city of Kashi is that eternal stream that has witnessed the hard work and efforts of humanity for thousands of years. Kashi testifies that no matter how big the challenge is, a new solution emerges with everyone’s efforts. I am sure Kashi will give a new impetus to our global resolve against a disease like TB.
I heartily welcome and congratulate all the guests who have come to Kashi from India and abroad for the ‘One World TB Summit’.
The spirit of India’s ideology as a country is reflected in ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, i.e. ‘Whole world is one family! This ancient belief is giving integrated vision and integrated solutions to the modern world today. Therefore, India, which is presiding over the G-20 Summit, has proposed the theme ‘One World, One Family, One Future’! This theme is the resolution of the shared future of the whole world as one family. Recently, India has also taken the initiative to take forward the vision of ‘One Earth, One Health’. And now, India is fulfilling another pledge of global good through the ‘One World TB Summit’.
The new thinking and approach with which India started working against TB since 2014 is truly unprecedented. Today, the whole world must know about these efforts of India because it is a new model in the global fight against TB. India has worked together on many fronts in this fight against TB in the last nine years. For example, People’s Participation — Jan Bhagidari; Enhancing Nutrition — a special campaign for nutrition; Treatment Innovation – a new strategy for treatment; Tech Integration – maximum use of technology; and Wellness and Prevention – campaigns to promote good health such as Fit India, Khelo India, Yoga etc.
The extraordinary work that India has done in the fight against TB is People’s Participation. It will be very interesting for our guests from abroad to know how India launched this unique campaign.
We had called upon the people of the country to become ‘Ni-kshay Mitra’ to join the campaign of ‘TB Mukt (free) Bharat’. ‘Kshay’ is the colloquial term for TB in India. Since the launch of this campaign, about 10 lakh TB patients have been adopted by the citizens of the country. You will be surprised to know that even 10-12 year old children in our country are taking forward the fight against TB by becoming ‘Ni-kshay Mitra’. There are many children who broke their ‘piggy bank’ and adopted TB patients. The financial support of these ‘Ni-kshay Mitras’ for TB patients has reached above 1,000 crore rupees. Running such a massive community initiative against TB is very inspiring in itself. I am glad that a large number of overseas Indians have also become a part of this effort. And I am grateful to you too. You just announced to adopt five people from Varanasi today.
This ‘Ni-kshay Mitra’ campaign has helped TB patients a lot in tackling a big challenge. This challenge is the nutrition of TB patients. Keeping this in view, we had announced Direct Benefit Transfer for TB patients in 2018. Since then, about 2,000 crore rupees have been transferred directly to the bank accounts of TB patients. About 75 lakh patients have benefited from this scheme. Now the ‘Ni-kshay Mitra’ scheme is giving new energy to TB patients.
It is very difficult to get better results while continuing with the old approach. We worked on a new strategy to ensure that no TB patient is left out of treatment. We have linked the screening of TB patients and their treatment with the Ayushman Bharat scheme. We have increased the number of labs across the country for free TB testing. In places where the number of TB patients is very high, we make action plans as a special focus. As part of these efforts, the ‘TB-free Panchayat’ is an important step. Under the ‘TB-free Panchayat’, the elected representatives of every village will resolve that there will not be a single TB patient in their village and they will ensure their good health. We are also starting a three-month treatment for TB prevention instead of the usual six months course. Earlier, patients had to take medicine every day for six months. Under the new system, the patients will have to take medicine only once a week. Not only will it be comforting for the patients, it will also mean fewer medicines.
India is also emphasising maximum use of technology for this TB-free campaign. We have created the Ni-kshay Portal for every TB patient which will track the care they need. We are also using data science in very modern ways. The Health Ministry and the ICMR have also jointly designed a new method for sub-national disease surveillance. Apart from the WHO at the global level, India is the only country to develop such a model.
Due to such efforts, the number of TB patients in India is declining rapidly today. Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir have been honoured with the TB-Free Award. Awards have also been given for the best work at the district level. I congratulate all those who have achieved this success and wish them all the best. Taking inspiration from these results, India has taken a massive resolution. The global target to eliminate TB is 2030. India is now working on the target of eliminating TB by 2025. Five years before the world’s target and such a massive resolution by such a big country! And this resolution is based on the trust of the countrymen. The health infrastructure capacity has been enhanced during Covid in India. We are working on Trace, Test, Track, Treat and Technology strategy. This strategy is also helping us a lot in our fight against TB. There is huge global potential in this indigenous approach of India which we have to utilise together. Today, 80 percent of the medicines for the treatment of TB are manufactured in India. This capability of India’s pharma companies is a great strength of the global campaign against TB. I would like that more countries get the benefit of all such campaigns, innovations and modern technology of India, because we are committed to Global Good. All the countries involved in this summit can develop a mechanism for this. I am sure our resolution ‘Yes, We can End TB’ will definitely be fulfilled. ‘TB will lose, India will win’ and as you said ‘TB will lose, the world will win’.
I am reminded of an old incident while talking to you. I want to share this with all of you. All of you are aware that Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, did a lot of work to end leprosy. Once he was called to inaugurate a leprosy hospital in Ahmedabad while he was living in Sabarmati Ashram. Gandhiji then refused to inaugurate that hospital. Gandhiji had a specialty of his own. He said he would not come for the inauguration, but would be very happy if called to close that leprosy hospital. In other words, he wanted to eliminate leprosy by closing that hospital itself. For decades that hospital continued to function even after the death of Gandhiji. When the people gave me an opportunity to serve Gujarat in 2001, I decided to make some effort to realise Gandhiji’s wish to close down that hospital. The campaign against leprosy was given a new momentum. And what was the result? The rate of leprosy in Gujarat declined from 23% to less than 1%. Gandhiji’s dream was fulfilled when that hospital was finally shut down in 2007 when I was the Chief Minister. Many social organizations and public participation played a major role in this regard. And therefore, I am very confident about India’s success against TB.
Today’s New India is known for achieving its goals. India took a pledge to be Open Defecation Free and achieved it. India also achieved the target of solar power generation capacity ahead of time. India has also achieved the target of ethanol blending of fixed percentage in petrol ahead of schedule. This power of public participation is increasing the confidence of the whole world. The success with which India’s fight against TB is progressing is also the result of public participation. Yes, I would also like to make a request to you. There is often a lack of awareness in TB patients and they attempt to hide this disease due to an old thinking which is prevalent in society. Therefore, we have to pay equal attention to making these patients more aware.
The rapid expansion of health services in Kashi over the years has also helped patients suffering from various diseases, including TB. Today, the foundation stone of the Varanasi branch of the National Centre for Disease Control has also been laid here. The Public Health Surveillance Unit has also started functioning. Today, the Child Care Institute in BHU, modernization of blood bank, construction of modern trauma centre, super specialty block etc. are benefiting the people of Banaras. So far, more than 70,000 patients have been treated at Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Centre. These people did not need to go to Lucknow, Delhi or Mumbai for treatment. Similarly, many facilities like Kabir Chaura Hospital, District Hospital, Dialysis, CT scan, etc. have been expanded in Banaras. Modern health facilities are also being developed in the villages of Kashi region. Oxygen plants as well as oxygen beds are being installed at health centres. Health and wellness centres have also been equipped with many facilities in the district. Under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, more than 1.5 lakh people of Banaras got free treatment in these hospitals and wellness centres. Patients are also getting affordable medicines from about 70 Jan Aushadhi Kendras. The people of Purvanchal and neighbouring Bihar are also getting the benefit of all these steps.
India with its experience, expertise and will power is engaged in the campaign to get rid of TB. India is also ever ready to work shoulder to shoulder with every country. Our campaign against TB will be successful only with everyone’s efforts. I believe our efforts will strengthen the foundation of our secure future and we will be able to give a better world to our future generations. I am also very grateful to you for appreciating India so much and inviting me. I express my heartfelt gratitude to you. With this auspicious beginning and on the occasion of ‘World TB Day’, I wish you all the best for its success and move ahead with a firm resolve. Thank you very much!
India reaffirms its commitment towards ensuring a TB-free society. Addressing 'One World TB Summit' in Varanasi. https://t.co/7TAs2PnxPO— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 24, 2023
काशी नगरी, वो शाश्वत धारा है, जो हजारों वर्षों से मानवता के प्रयासों और परिश्रम की साक्षी रही है: PM @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/k2OInOWaMl— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 24, 2023
कुछ समय पहले ही भारत ने ‘One Earth, One Health’ के vision को भी आगे बढ़ाने की पहल की है।— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 24, 2023
और अब, ‘One World TB Summit’ के जरिए भारत, Global Good के एक और संकल्प को पूरा कर रहा है: PM @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/3qBP8Xjlat
TB के खिलाफ लड़ाई में, भारत ने जो बहुत बड़ा काम किया है, वो है- People’s Participation, जनभागीदारी: PM @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/ziTeptXbbc— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 24, 2023
कोई भी TB मरीज इलाज से छूटे नहीं, इसके लिए हमने नई रणनीति पर काम किया: PM @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/WzypA0eNMy— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 24, 2023
भारत अब वर्ष 2025 तक TB खत्म करने के लक्ष्य पर काम कर रहा है: PM @narendramodi pic.twitter.com/milo6nzV9v— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 24, 2023
In the last 9 years, India’s fight against TB is based on:— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 24, 2023
Wellness and prevention. pic.twitter.com/TuY1vdtAXR
Ni-kshay Mitras have added momentum to the fight against TB. pic.twitter.com/FfRZBcuA1r— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 24, 2023
Yes, we can end TB. pic.twitter.com/hphOEUSSvN— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 24, 2023