Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has emphasized the importance of multi stakeholder coordination, prevention, and patient-centric quality care in making giant strides towards a “TB Free India”. He said, declaration of TB as a notifiable disease in the country has improved the identification of TB cases and helped reduce the gap in identifying the missing cases in the country. He said, one million missing cases were reported in 2017 which has been reduced to 2.4 lakh in 2019. Dr Vardhan said this while digitally addressing the Platinum Jubilee of the National Conference of Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (NATCON) today. He said, the government has undertaken massive expansion of the diagnostic capacity and currently more than 21 thousand microscopic centers are operational across the country. He said, the government is providing financial support to all TB patients under Nikshaya Poshan Yojana, a significant step to reduce out of pocket expenses for the patients and increase treatment adherence. The Health Minister said, in addition, the government is providing free drugs and diagnostics to the TB patients availing treatment in the private sector. He said, nutritional support is extended to all TB patients for the entire duration of their treatment. He said, till date, more than 886 crore rupees has been disbursed to TB patients as Direct Benefit Transfer, for nutritional support.
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