Stop TB Partnership

India Launches a TB Campaign Nationwide

25 March 2015 - The highlight of India’s World TB Day celebrations was the nationwide launch of the "TB Harega Desh Jeetega" awareness campaign featuring Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan, at an event co-hosted by the Central TB Division (CTD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Forum on TB (NFTB). The campaign was dedicated to the nation by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Jagat Prakash Nadda, in the presence of leading policymakers, administrators, patient advocates, partner organizations, members of civil society and the media.

Nationwide Launch of the "TB Harega Desh Jeetega" Campaign

The cause of TB prevention and control received unprecedented support, bringing together the Health Minister Mr. Nadda, NFTB President Mr. Dalbir Singh, Member of Parliament, BJP and fellow NFTB member, Mr. Anurag Thakur as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) representative to India, Dr. Nata Menabde, at an event organized in New Delhi on World TB Day. Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, who was unable to attend the event, sent a letter expressing his solidarity with all the individuals and organizations working towards the prevention and control of TB. Other dignitaries on the dais included the Health Secretary, Mr. Bhanu Pratap Sharma; Director General of Health Services, Dr. Jagdish Prasad and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Anshu Prakash.

In addition to the screening of the "TB Harega, Desh Jeetega" campaign, the CTD also screened an audio-visual campaign aimed at increasing awareness around TB-HIV co-infections. The CTD also released its annual report for 2015, outlining in detail the latest accomplishments and progress of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme. Additionally, the CTD released an innovative treatment regimen for TB-HIV co-infections to be implemented at high-burden anti-retroviral therapy (ART) centres. Mr. Nadda also released a TB special issue of the Global Policy Journal, featuring articles by leading administrators, policymakers, technical experts and journalists working in the Indian TB landscape. The centre-piece of the event was a live musical performance by the iconic Indian fusion music band, Indian Ocean. The band played a selection of their most popular songs, while affirming their wholehearted support towards the cause of TB prevention and control.

Messages from the Speakers

Mr. Jagat Prakash Nadda reaffirmed the Union Government’s commitment to the cause of TB control, saying that the MoHFW would work to build political will around the need to combat the disease and to sensitize policymakers to put their weight behind the government’s efforts. He urged stakeholders across various levels to work together towards the successful implementation of TB control initiatives.

Mr. Anurag Thakur spoke of the need for a greater focus on patient-friendly services. He said that service delivery of TB care initiatives needed to take into account the patients’ convenience, in order to prevent default and ensure that patients adhered to the full course of medication. Mr. Thakur said that it was unfortunate that a preventable, treatable disease such as TB continued to claim hundreds of thousands of lives in India.

Mr. Dalbir Singh spoke about the efforts being made by the National Forum on TB to sensitize policymakers and build political consensus around the need for better, more efficacious TB control initiatives. He also stressed on the need for greater international cooperation and cross-pollination of ideas in order to adapt best practices from the global TB control experience into the Indian context.

Social Media

Mr. Bachchan tweeted about the campaign to his 13.8 million followers, and also shared the campaign video on Facebook, where he has 19.7 million followers. Indian Ocean posted online to take the campaign to over 400,000 followers on social media, while Mr. Anurag Thakur wrote about his participation at the event to his 11 million followers across Facebook and Twitter.

The event took place in New Delhi, India on the occasion of World TB Day 2015.