India’s Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has been appointed Chairman of the Stop TB Partnership Board, an international body with the mandate to align actors all over the world in the fight against tuberculosis. The minister will serve a three year term which will commence from July 2021.
Indian Health Ministry has said that the participation of a wide range of constituencies gives Stop TB Partnership Board the credibility and the broad range of medical, social and financial expertise needed to defeat TB.
This partnership is mandated to eliminate Tuberculosis as a public health problem. The organization was conceived following the meeting of the First Session of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Tuberculosis Epidemic held in London in March 1998.
In its inaugural year itself, this partnership through the Amsterdam Declaration gave a call for collaborative action from ministerial delegations from 20 countries that bear the highest burden of TB. It has 1500 partner organizations which include international, non-governmental and governmental organizations and patient groups. The Secretariat is based at Geneva, Switzerland.
The ministry has said that India has committed to eradicate TB in the country by 2025, five years ahead of the global deadline of 2030. Indian government’s National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination 2017-2025 outlines an ambitious agenda and targets which exceed even the aspirational ones set by the World Health Organization's End TB Strategy for the world.
The ministry emphasized this has attracted the attention of members of the organization who want to learn and benefit from the medical advancements and practices to eliminate the disease as is being implemented through a National Strategic Plan in India.