Health Minister releases guidance document for tuberculosis elimination in 2021-25

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Punjab Health & Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu today released the Guidance Document for Tuberculosis Elimination in Punjab during 2021-25 which represents the department’s goal towards ending TB by 2025 in the state.

Disclosing more about this document Balbir Singh Sidhu said that the Punjab Government has set up an ambitious target of eliminating Tuberculosis by 2025 , five years ahead of the Sustainable Development Goal of 2030.

He said that the principals of TB elimination in Punjab are based on the four pillars of the National Strategic Plan ( NSP ) 2017-25 namely Detect- Treat- Prevent- Build . The plan focuses on early diagnosis and prompt treatment of TB along with universal drug susceptibility testing , systematic screening of contacts and high-risk groups and addressing co – morbid conditions such as HIV, Diabetes , Tobacco and Malnutrition.

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Mr. Sidhu said that all efforts to sustain and improve the success achieved so far by the program need to continue along with addressing the challenges in the fight against tuberculosis. This audacious goal is achievable through our commitment and determination. He said that TB is not just a public health issue, but also causes huge economic losses to the Indian economy.

Health Minister congratulated the State TB Cell and all stakeholders involved in bringing out this TB elimination document in the state by 2025. The coming years are very crucial towards achieving the goal of TB elimination in Punjab. One key initiative in TB elimination by 2025 in the state would be the integration and strengthening of TB services thorough Health and Wellness Centers ( HWCs ). He said that this would lead to improvement in awareness about TB in communities, early detection of TB patients, better adherence to TB treatment and ensuring easier access and availability of TB services to the people.

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Underlying the need for a set of guidelines for TB Elimination for the State of Punjab Dr. G.B. Singh Director Health & Family Welfare Punjab said that these State specific guidelines will be helpful for adapting patient centric model for TB Elimination. The State will thus, be able to focus on prevention of TB and reduce the impact of multidrug and extensively drug – resistant TB.

State TB Officer Punjab Dr. Jastej Singh Kular and other officials were present on the occasion .