Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 13 said the rate of immunisation against tuberculosis has grown by 6 per cent in the last three-and-a-half years and expressed confidence of achieving 90 per cent immunisation coverage within the next year.
Targeting the previous governments, Modi said the immunisation programme had been going on for the last 30-35 years and despite that, the country could not achieve the target of complete coverage till 2014.
"The pace of the immunisation coverage earlier was inching ahead by just one per cent. Had we continued at the same pace, it would have taken us another 40 years to achieve the target. However, in the last three-and-a-half years, it has increased by 6 per cent and by the next year, we will achieve 90 per cent immunisation coverage," he said at the inauguration of the Delhi End-TB Summit.
Launching the TB-free India campaign to take the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination forward in a mission mode, Modi reiterated his government's aim to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of the global target.
Modi said his government was moving ahead with the principle of "treat every TB patient best at the very first opportunity" and was roping in the private sector as well.
He also called for multi-sectoral engagement and participation of all stake-holders at every level to create "TB-free village, panchayat, district and state", noting that frontline TB physicians and workers could make a major contribution in this direction.
Noting that tuberculosis impacts lives, the economy and the future of a nation, the prime minister said the poor were the worst affected by the communicable disease and every step taken toward eradicating TB was directly connected to their lives.