New Delhi [India], September 2 (ANI): Expressing his elation at the convergence of focus to eliminate Tuberculosis (TB) and suggesting the continuance of regular interaction so that best practices of States/UTs may be discussed and taken up for emulation, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said that these practices will strongly contribute to focussed and effective implementation of common policies and to achieve these goals collectively.
"Coordinated and collaborative efforts will strongly contribute to the achievement of shared goals faster," the Union Health Minister stated.
Mandaviya today interacted with State Health Ministers and Principal Secretaries/ Additional Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs in the presence of Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, to review the progress made in the fight against TB through focussed and concerted efforts of the Union Government and the States.
He noted, "We have to encourage common people to join us in this mission for eradicating TB. It has to be made a people's initiative."Shri Mandaviya assured that the Union government is open to all suggestions from the States/UTs on Tuberculosis in its mission to fulfil the Prime Minister's dream of a TB Free India by 2025. He also encouraged the States and UTs to provide suggestions on the Public Health Management of COVID and other programs and initiatives of the Union Health Ministry.
On the threat to the gains made against TB due to COVID-19, he spoke on the ramping up of COVID Vaccination in recent days. Mandaviya highlighted the importance of vaccinating all teachers by the 5th of September for which additional doses are being provided to the States.
In this regard, he also suggested the states to initiate specific vaccine drives on particular days to vaccinate certain communities which are directly dealing with people, like vegetable vendors in markets or rickshaw pullers in a particular area.
Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo, Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Kumar Jain, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope, Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das, Himachal Pradesh Health Minister Rajiv Saizal, Jharkhand Health and Medical Education Minister Banna Gupta, Karnataka Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar, Kerala Health Minister Veena George, Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma attended the meeting.
Mandaviya assured all the state Health Ministers that the Centre remains in constant touch with the vaccine manufacturers for resolving any possible bottleneck as vaccine production is increased month on month. He encouraged states to ensure that COVID protocols are continued to be followed and no laxity is shown due to the improved situation in the country.
All the States/UTs working with the TB program attending the event communicated the impact of their work in the past few years and shared their plans to support the movement to eliminate TB by 2025. (ANI)