Tribal TB Initiative:
Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched the ‘Tribal TB Initiative’ in pursuit of TB Mukt Bharat.
- A Guidance Note on Joint Action Plan for Tuberculosis (TB) Elimination, a Special Edition of Tribal Ministry’s Publication ‘ALEKH’ on TB, and a document on Tribal Tuberculosis (TB) Initiative was also released.
- Over 104 million tribal population lives in India, across 705 tribes, accounting for 8.6 % of the country’s population.
- 177 tribal districts were 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.
- Initially, the activities of the joint plan will be focusing on 161 districts across 18 identified States.
- This would involve periodic TB active case finding drives and provision of TB Preventive Therapy (IPT) to identified vulnerable populations and develop long-term mechanisms for vulnerability reduction.
- The Union Territories of Lakshadweep and the district of Badgam in Jammu and Kashmir have been declared TB Free on World TB Day this year.
- The government has already increased the Budget allocation for TB in India four-fold in the last 5 years.