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Inter-sectoral and well-coordinated battle to #endTB is imperative to deliver on Agenda 2030

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Bobby Ramakant, CNS (Citizen News Service)

Engaging health AND non-health sectors CRITICAL to #endTB by 2030
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(CNS): Growing political commitment of governments globally to #endTB is indeed welcoming but governments need to walk the talk too to #endTB and deliver on promises of integrated sustainable development by 2030.

Reality check on any specific indicator to show progress made towards ending TB will raise serious concerns regarding meeting these commitments in a timely manner. For example, TB decline rate is not that encouraging as TB needs to decline annually at least ten times more than the current rate of TB decline. The latest WHO Global TB Report shows that new TB cases in India rose (not declined) to 2.8 million in 2015 (from 2.2 million in 2014) and TB deaths rose to 480,000 in 2015 (from 220,000 TB deaths in 2014). Cases of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) rose by 11% in 2015 in India compared to previous year.

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Undoubtedly to #endTB by 2030 globally, business as usual is not an option

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"Engaging health and non-health ministries, and other sectors as effectively and as well coordinated as possible, will help to accelerate the fight to end TB by 2030," said Shobha Shukla, Executive Director of CNS (Citizen News Service) and senior advisor to Vote For Health campaign of Asha Parivar.

The WHO and partners are hosting a Global Ministerial Meeting on inter-sectoral response in SDGs era in Moscow, Russia, in November 2017. A high-level meeting on TB around UN General Assembly in 2018 is also on the cards. Indian government recently committed to end TB by 2025. Even with this high magnitude of political commitment, stemming the TB tide is still challenging though seems more doable than ever before.

Cricket with a difference: Every team unites to #endTB

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An innovative way to engage different ministers of health and non-health ministries and other sectors such as film stars is the friendly cricket match between Members of Parliament (MPs) team and film stars' team. MPs team is led by MP Anurag Thakur and film stars team is led by Bobby Deol. This friendly match will be held in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India, a day after World Health Day 2017 and TB Free India Summit.

JP Nadda, Minister for Health and Family Welfare; Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Urban Housing and Poverty Alleviation; Minister for Information and Broadcasting; Mark A White of US Agency for International Development (USAID) India; Jose Luis Castro, Executive Director of International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union); WHO India's Dr Henk Bekedam; are among the prominent speakers at TB Free India Summit on World Health Day 2017.

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Citizen News Service (CNS) specializes in in-depth and rights-based, health and science journalism. For more information, please contact: www.citizen-news.org or @cns_health or www.facebook.com/cns.page

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