New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday reminded the country of its success in eradicating polio as he expressed confidence that the "scourge" of tuberculosis, which kills one person every two minutes in the country, could be wiped out.
He said the global TB control is "unattainable" without controlling it in India. The President, however, noted that there is compelling evidence to suggest that the tide has turned and the burden of TB has begun to fall. "There are now fewer TB-related deaths each year than previous years."
He was speaking at the platinum jubilee celebration of the Tuberculosis Association of India and also the inauguration of 68th National Convention on Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases.
Mukherjee said that India has the world`s "highest burden" of tuberculosis and TB kills one person every two minutes in the country or almost 750 people daily.
"Global TB control is unattainable without controlling the incidence of TB in India... I am confident that when we put our hearts and minds together we shall be able to build an India free of Tuberculosis and other preventable diseases," he said.
Incidents of TB have come down to 176 in 2012 from 209 in 2005 for a population of one lakh. The President said the endeavour should now be to aim for universal access focusing on improved diagnosis of TB patients through improving outreach, vigorously expanding case-finding efforts among vulnerable sections of the society and extending services to patients diagnosed and treated in both the public and private sectors.
"I would urge all stakeholders to contribute to this noble cause so that the scourge of Tuberculosis ceases to be a public health problem in India and every citizen of our country goes on to become a productive member of society, participating actively in nation building," he said.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad could not attend the even due to some "unforeseen" reasons.