Harsh Vardhan will serve a three-year term, commencing July 2021, as the Chair of the Board of Stop TB Partnership
Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare has been appointed Chairman of the ”Stop TB Partnership Board”, in recognition of his contribution to the movement to eradicate Tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025.
According to an official release, the Stop TB Partnership is a unique international body with the power to align actors all over the world in the fight against TB. The release stated that the participation of a wide range of constituencies gives this global body the credibility and the broad range of medical, social, and financial expertise needed to defeat TB. The Partnership’s vision is a TB-free world. The appointment of Dr Harsh Vardhan as the Chair of this prestigious global body is a proud recognition of India’s political commitment to the eradication of TB.
The Union Health Minister will hence serve a three-year term, commencing July 2021, as the Chair of the Board of Stop TB Partnership.
Established in the year 2000, the ‘Stop TB 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, the Stop TB 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 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Dr Harsh Vardhan addressing the 33rd Board Meeting of Stop TB, November 2020
India has committed to eliminating TB in the country by 2025, five years ahead of the global deadline of 2030. The Government of India’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 (WHO) End TB Strategy for the world.
With a recovery rate of about 97 per cent and a mortality rate of less than 2 per cent, India is also one of the few countries that have successfully contained COVID19. The pandemic has renewed the focus on airborne communicable diseases in India, with heavy investment now being prioritized for public health care.
The Union Minister Dr Vardhan has been a strong votary of turning the fight against TB into a Jan Andolan, a people’s movement.