World TB Day 2021: Kerala's TB eradication programme bags national honour
World TB Day 2021: Kerala's TB eradication programme bags national honour

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala's tuberculosis eradication program has won national honor as the state bagged the Union government's award for reducing the prevalence of the disease through various systematic initiatives.

Kerala is the lone state which has been chosen for recognition in the state category, a Health department statement said here. The estimated incidence of tuberculosis (TB) went down by 37.5percent in Kerala between 2015-20, the State registering an annual decline rate of 7.5percent.

An expert panel, designated by the Union government, recently found that the southern state has reduced the TB prevalence rate by 37.5 per cent in the last five years as part of achieving the sustainable development goals.

“This is huge because even global figures for annual incidence of TB reduction has never been more than 2-3percent and Kerala is the only State to achieve this,” Rakesh P.S., WHO consultant, TB Elimination, said.

This has won the State a bronze medal in the Union Health Ministry’s just-concluded Sub National Certification of Efforts Towards Elimination of TB. The award will be presented by the Union Health Minister on Wednesday, World TB Day.

The nation has set an ambitious goal to achieve “End Tuberculosis” by reducing the incidence of new TB cases by 80percent by 2025, five years ahead of UN Sustainable Development Goals timelines.

Every year, WHO commemorates World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.


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