Stop TB Partnership

Parliamentarians pledge support to make India TB-Free

21 December 2015 - New Delhi, India - Indian parliamentarians across party lines met on 21 December 2015 to demand and sustain high-level domestic commitment to end TB in India. As a result, honorable members of parliament from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha pledged to drive political, administrative and technical solutions to address specific barriers affecting TB prevention and care in India.

"Parliamentarians meet towards a TB-Free India" was organised by the Central TB Division, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India; The Union; and the Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD) as part of the Call to Action for a TB Free India campaign, funded by Challenge TB (CTB).

After hearing presentations, which included the experiences of a TB survivor, the parliamentarians pledged: "Let us not remain silent spectators to the loss of human life. We should come together and do all that is possible to make India TB-Free." They committed to work towards ensuring better TB detection, treatment, patient care and support in their constituencies through civil society organisations. Advocacy efforts in parliament and media will also form part of their commitment focused on seeking more resources for TB management and greater accountability from the government on matters such as new drugs, cost of treatment, improved diagnostics and patient support.

CTB was able to build political commitment and will amongst Members of Parliament by partnering with IAPPD. The partnership is expected to promote and facilitate the role of parliamentarians, legislators and Panchayati Raj Institutions in addressing health and development issues.

According to the World Health Organization, India has the world’s highest TB burden, with 2.1 million cases annually. Despite the challenge this poses, the country aims to meet the End TB Strategy goals to reduce deaths from TB by 95% reduce the TB incidence rate by 90% and ensure that no family incurs catastrophic cost for TB treatment by 2035.

The Call to action for a TB-free India is designed to increase efforts to control TB through innovative policies and new strategies to raise awareness and domestic resources to end TB in India. It is funded through the Challenge TB programme of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Union South-East Asia Office in New Delhi is tasked with implementation of the project.