United Nations Special Envoy on Tuberculosis Commends India for Its Bold Vision in Combatting TB

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued the following press release regarding Dr. Eric Goosby’s visit to India to support the country’s efforts toward ending TB.  Goosby, of UCSF Global Health Sciences, is United National Special Envoy on Tuberculosis (TB).

New Delhi, 12 August 2017–Dr. Eric Goosby, United Nations Special Envoy on Tuberculosis, concluded his five-day visit to India commending the Government of India for its bold vision and leadership in combating TB.

The visit, from 7-11 August 2017, was aimed at understanding the goal and challenges of the national TB programme and discussing how India can transform its bold plans into progress towards TB elimination.

In this context, Dr. Goosby engaged with the Indian leadership to lend his support in further accelerating the momentum towards ending TB and working towards TB elimination in the country.

Speaking after his meeting with J.P. Nadda, Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr. Goosby said, “The Health Ministry has developed a national strategic plan that is progressive and grounded in science. The challenge now is to translate this plan into action. India certainly has the talent and political will to make this happen.”

Dr. Goosby’s visit coincides with a strong momentum towards ending TB and working towards TB elimination in India.

“There is strong political commitment at the highest level, including the Prime Minister and the Health Minister, which has reinvigorated the TB programme,” said Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO representative to India.

“The government has taken steps to prioritize TB care and management, especially with the adoption of the National Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Elimination 2017-2025,” he added.

The plan, with aggressive targets, aims to ‘bend the curve’ towards TB elimination. The civil society is also playing an important role in the fight against TB and complementing the government’s efforts.

During his visit, Dr. Goosby met stakeholders across the board.

In Mumbai, he met senior officials of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai; Principal Secretary, Department of Public Health, Government of Maharashtra; NGOs and civil society; private sector practitioners and drug manufacturers among others. He also interacted with patients and frontline health workers and observed the active case finding campaign.

While in Delhi, Dr. Goosby met with the senior Indian leadership, including Union Health Minister, Union Health Secretary, Secretary – Department of Health Research, Director General Health Services, Economic Advisor to Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and officials of the Central TB Division. He also met TB partners, including civil society, and other UN agencies.

Dr. Goosby’s visit will further catalyze India’s efforts to move towards TB elimination.