The Union Health Ministry Thursday exchanged MoUs with the ministries of AYUSH, Defence and Railways to strengthen inter-ministerial coordination and efforts towards making India tuberculosis-free by 2025.
The MoU between Health and AYUSH ministries was exchanged by Union Health Secretary Preeti Sudan and AYUSH Secretary Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha.
Joint Secretary of Health and Family Welfare Vikas Sheel exchanged MoU with Railways Executive Director K Sridhar and Defence”s Col Bal Singh Sisodia.
On the occasion, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, “I”m sure that the integrated and multi-sectoral approach will galvanize support and commitment from key stakeholders and seek their contribution towards making India TB-free by 2025.”
He said multi-sectoral action is one of the key strategies which makes for a strong case to transform the country”s TB-elimination efforts from a siloed health sector response to a holistic approach.
AYUSH minister Sripad Yesso Naik said tuberculosis is a serious social problem mainly affecting the population battling with poverty, malnutrition, poor hygiene, housing and working conditions.
“AYUSH systems have potential knowledge base, qualified and trained human resources and holistic healthcare practices to help achieve the objective of TB-free India,” he said.
Accordingly, it is expected that multifaceted issues of people suffering from TB can be addressed with integrated approaches, inter-sectoral convergence and meaningful involvement of the AYUSH sector, Naik said.
Citing the example of the fight against polio, Vardhan stated that tuberculosis is not only a medical problem, it has social dimensions and needs to be addressed through multi-sectoral approach.
“All of us can be leaders in our own capacities to end TB. I believe that together we will be able to develop new approaches to combat such threats,” he said.
Through the inter-ministerial coordination, the aim is to reach key populations served by various ministries and create a social movement for collective efforts by every section of the society for ending TB in India, the health minister said.
The agreement with the Central TB Division of the Ministry of Health outlines the scope and extent of AYUSH involvement in sensitization, awareness generation, capacity building of such institutions and health service providers in the areas of TB diagnosis, control and management.
Focused activities envisaged under the MoU will cover joint planning for working with AYUSH organisations and professional bodies, and promoting adjuvant use of evidence- based AYUSH interventions for, TB control and management, an official said.
It is also intended to facilitate research collaboration and best practices of AYUSH healthcare and build up capacities for TB-free work places and communities. PLB NSD NSD – Outlook India