Urgent need of a vaccine against tuberculosis, says health minister Mandaviya


New Delhi: There is an urgent need of a vaccine against tuberculosis and it important to fast-track its development, expand manufacturing capacities and help countries with easy access, said Mansukh Mandaviya, Union health minister, in his address during the 36th board meeting of the Stop TB Partnership held on Saturday.

Highlighting the importance of a TB vaccine in the global fight against the disease, Mandaviya urged the baord of Stop TB Partnership to deliberate on this and take up the matter at the UN High Level Meeting on universal health coverage in September this year.

He said India has identified three important health priorities under the G20 Presidency and all of these are focused on universal health coverage and relevant to the Centre’s response for TB elimination.

Mandaviya said that a lot of exceptional work was being done at the ground level through innovation in case finding, mathematical modelling, digital interventions and surveillance. “India would be happy to share technical assistance with other countries to replicate such good practices,” he said recalling India’s innovative strategies like the Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan in the fight against the disease.

Dr Lucica Ditiu, executive director of Stop TB Partnership, said, “India has a pivotal role in eliminating TB because India’s progress will drive the world.” She also praised India for “doing very sophisticated modelling with their Ni-kshay data.” “Their innovations, ideas and strategies for bringing healthcare closer to people is something that the whole world can emulate.”

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