Tuberculosis Elimination Strategy

[op-ed snap] Cure In Progress


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Global efforts for preventing fatalities due to TB and NCDs.



  • Recently the UN General Assembly deliberated on how best to address a serious public health challenges posed by tuberculosis (TB) and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Ground zero in battle against TB and NCDs

  1. The region accounts for 50 per cent of TB-associated mortality, with the disease being the region’s leading cause of death and lost productive years in the crucial 15-49 years old age group.
  2. TB/HIV co-infection is meanwhile responsible for 25 per cent of AIDS-related deaths.
  3. On NCDs, though, the region accounts for a bit over a quarter of the world’s population, it is home to around 29 per cent of NCD-related premature mortality.
  4. Every year, 8.9 million people in the region die of NCDs, accounting for 64 per cent of all deaths which were preventable.

Generating Political Momentum

  1. In recent years, each one of them has shown unprecedented political commitment to tackle TB, as expressed in the 2017 “Delhi Call for Action” and the 2018 “Statement of Action” to end TB by 2030.
  2. That commitment continues to be reflected in on-the-ground action.
  3. The Colombo Declaration of 2016 is committed to integrating NCD services at the primary level each country in the region.
  4. These include a range of ground-breaking initiatives, from nutrient labelling systems that enhance health literacy to promoting physical activity through the provision of outdoor gyms.

UN intervention: The game-changer

  1. The high-level meetings at the UN headquarters provided the region significant scope to consolidate these gains, accelerate progress, and promote game-changing innovations in each of these areas.
  2. The meetings provided the member states an open and global  platform to highlight the problem’s significance and present a detailed outline of how they are addressing it.
  3. It gave them an opportunity to underscore the dramatic increase high-burden countries have made in domestic funding.
  4. It also offered them a chance to emphasise that an increased allocation of resources from the global community could generate momentum in combating the disease.
  5. Much emphasis was placed on harnessing greater investment in research and development — particularly for developing low-cost, affordable diagnostics and drugs to treat the disease.

What brings in the UNGA Platform?

  1. The meeting provided member states the opportunity to highlight progress since the first high-level UNGA meeting was held in 2011
  2. The members reiterated their resolve as to reach the half-way mark in the quest to reduce premature deaths caused by NCDs, by a quarter by 2025.
  3. It gave them an opportunity to highlight the areas which require more spending and how governments can be better supported in implementing their country-specific plans.
  4. That includes emphasizing the significance of preventive measures that are among the most cost-effective (though underfunded) ways to deal with the problem.
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