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Amitabh Bachchan and US Ambassador Richard Verma joined together to launch TB Detection Mobile Van Pilot Project

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India and US came together to combat tuberculosis in an unique way, as Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan and US Ambassador Richard Verma joined together to launch a TB Detection Mobile Van Pilot Project. An estimated 2.2 million cases are reported annually. Of these, 220,000 prove fatal. Or to put it simply, two people die of TB every three minutes in India. This is the highest number of deaths from TB anywhere in the world.

India’s success rate in treatment was 88 per cent in 2013 compared to 25 per cent in 1995. The WHO reports that between 2013 and 2014, reporting of new TB cases in India increased by 29 per cent. To support this progress, the US Government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is working collaboratively with the Government of India (GOI), the private sector and local partners to India in its fight against TB.

At the national level, USAID is supporting the Indian government’s Call to Action For a TB-Free India, launched nationwide on April 23, to engage healthcare providers, corporate partners, media, celebrities, civil society, academia, and patients to end TB in India. USAID will soon initiate the Tuberculosis Health Action Learning Initiative (THALI), a $22.5 million programme that will complement the Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) by engaging municipal governments and private providers to prevent, test, and treat TB in select cities in India. The program will help urban communities in five Indian cities.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), are working closely with the Indian Government to support India’s Revised National TB Control Program.