TB kills nearly 0.42 million persons (mostly poor and young), more than any other infectious disease, while nearly 2.8 Million persons acquire TB every year causing huge suffering to millions of families. India with highest TB burden is a key player in the global quest to end Tuberculosis. India has incorporated Strategies to achieve TB elimination in its National Health Policy. It envisages Reduction in incidence of new cases, to reach elimination status by 2025 much ahead of the SDG target of 2030.
Understanding this huge challenge, India has initiated concerted efforts with Revised National TB Control Program, the private sector, civil society, communities, Professional bodies and patients.
Considering the vision and mission of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), which is to strengthen the early detection and treatment of TB, recommitting itself to strengthen its efforts to work towards eradicating Tuberculosis (TB) by the year 2025 in India, a workshop on “Recent updates on Tuberculosis” was conducted in collaboration with Zonal Task Force RNTCP- South Zone 1, USAID partner, Karnataka Health Promotion trust, TB Alert, TB Association of Telangana and Government of Telangana, during the recently concluded 13th annual Global Healthcare Summit in Hyderabad India.
The main theme of the workshop was “TB free India” with the objective of training the Indian American Physicians on Newer strategies of Diagnosis and Treatment of Tuberculosis, so as to find, treat and cure every case of Tuberculosis. A Total of 150 delegates from USA, Telangana, Andhra, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Jammu Kashmir attended the workshop.
The workshop was inaugurated by the Chief Guest Eric Alexander, Deputy Consul General American Consulate Hyderabad. Mr. Alexander said: “We have been supporting the TB program of the Government of India for two decades now. With our collaboration with AAPI, we aim to strengthen the early detection and treatment of TB, with a focus on drug-resistant strains; continue our assistance to the government to plan and implement evidence-based interventions to reach a TB-Free India, and improve patient-centered TB services.”
In his welcome address, Dr. Suresh Reddy, President of AAPI, said, “AAPI has an ambitious vision, with a focus on drug-resistant strains; assistance to the government to plan and implement evidence-based interventions to reach a TB-Free India, and improve patient-centered TB services.”
Prof. Behra National Task force Chairman for implementation of Revised National Tuberculosis Control program in Indian Medical Schools spoke on challenges and solutions to end Tuberculosis in India by 2025. Prof. Subhakar Kandi the workshop coordinator spoke Newer Diagnostic Techniques of Tuberculosis. He urged the Indian Physicians to utilise these diagnostic services available free of cost under government program. He also briefed the future diagnostic tests in pipe line.
Prof. Alladi Mohan an authority on Tuberculosis from SVIMS, Tirupathi, spoke on road map for diagnosis and treatment of Extra Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Prof. Sridhar Director of renowned Tambaram Institute for Tuberculosis, Chennai spoke on Challenges in Diagnosis and Treatment of Multidrug resistant Tuberculosis.
Dr. Sumalatha, an Epidemiologist for Government of Telangana spoke on initiatives and action plan for TB free Telangana. Dr Prakash from KHPT Bangalore a partner of USAID spoke on various projects taken up by USAID in support of Indian government mission to end Tuberculosis by 2025 and requested AAPI to partner.
On July 24th, during a seminar, AAPI leaders reviewed and pledged to expand its efforts to more cities in India, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). AAPI’s leadership, including Dr. Suresh Reddy, President of AAPI, Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President-Elect of AAPI, and Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, Vice President of AAPI, were part of the day-long seminar.
Dr. Manoj Jain, who has been part of this initiative of AAPI, since its launch, thorough video conferencing, shared with AAPI leaders of the progress in involving local leaders to develop a Local Roadmap on how to make more than the current 10 localities TB Free: Indore, Bhopal, Rajkot, Sevek villages in Gujarat, Mumbai-Malad, Ahmedabad, Mysore, Nagpur, Varanasi, and Lucknow, by conducting Field work with local NGOs in these localities to do TB screening in the slum areas. He said, Hyderabad and several other cities will be joining the efforts to make its citizens TB-Free.”
AAPI and USAID along with other NGOs will work together to utilize the 100,000-strong network of physicians of Indian-origin living in the United States to support health programs in India, engage AAPI’s network of private charitable clinics for TB awareness, detection and treatment, and explore opportunities for collaborations between U.S. and Indian medical schools to exchange cutting-edge health care solutions. For more details on AAPI and its many noble programs, please visit: www.aapiusa.org