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Dr Harsh Vardhan launches Tribal TB Initiative in pursuit of ‘TB Mukt Bharat’Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan launched the ‘Tribal TB Initiative’ as a step towards the goal of ‘TB Mukt Bharat’ by 2025.

i.During the event, he also released

  • A Guidance Note on Joint Action Plan for Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination
  • A Special Edition of Tribal Ministry’s Publication ‘ALEKH’ on TB. ALEKH is a quarterly e-newsletter of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs which focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of the tribal communities.
  • A Document on Tribal Tuberculosis (TB) Initiative.

ii.During the event, Arjun Munda, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs & Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare were present.

Note-Government has already increased the Budget allocation for TB in India a four-fold in the last 5 years.

Tribal Population

The population of Tribals in India is 104 Million (across 705 tribes). They account for 8.6% of India’s Population.

  • 177 Tribal districts across India have been identified as high priority districts where physical remoteness, malnutrition, poor living conditions and lack of awareness contribute to the vulnerability of the tribal population to TB.
  • The Joint plan will initially focus on 162 Tribal districts across 18 identified states.
  • It will take steps to improve vulnerability mapping techniques, organization of sensitization and capacity building workshops for volunteers, periodic TB active case finding drives, provision of TB Preventive Therapy (IPT) to identify vulnerable populations & developing long term mechanisms for vulnerability reduction.

Linking of Portals

Harsh Vardhan highlighted the linking of the NIKSHAY Portal of MoHFW & Swasthya Portal of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs to boost data compilation on TB.

  • NIKSHAY (Ni=End, Kshay=TB) is a patient management system for TB control under the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP).
  • It is a portal on tribal health and nutrition named ‘Swasthya’.

Key Points

  • Recently on World Tuberculosis Day (24th March), UT of Lakshadweep & the district of Badgam in Jammu & Kashmir were declared TB Free.
  • Himachal Pradesh achieved 1st Rank in India amongst the states with a population of more than 50 Lakhs, to end Tuberculosis under the National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme (NTEP).
  • India has resolved to end Tuberculosis by 2025. Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Recent Related News:

i.On 17th August 2020, Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda inaugurated the first of its kind e-portal “Swasthya”, a tribal health and nutrition portal and Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) also launched an e-newsletter on health and nutrition ALEKH and opening of National Overseas Portal and National Tribal Fellowship Portal.

About Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):

Union Minister– Harsh Vardhan (Constituency- Chandni Chowk, New Delhi)
Minister of State (MoS)– Ashwini Kumar Choubey (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Buxar, Bihar)

About Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA):

Union Minister– Arjun Munda (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Khunti, Jharkhand)
Minister of State– Renuka Singh Saruta (Lok Sabha MP, Constituency – Surguja, Chhattisgarh)