Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan is all set to give the keynote address at the WHO’s symposium on TB in Spain. The symposium entitled ‘ Moving out of the Box to end Global TB epidemic: With post-2015 strategy.’ is aimed at finding ways to help better the TB status of countries around the world.
In his speech to international health experts, Harsh Vardhan will talk about the importance of the community when it comes to finding a solution to TB — a disease that is considered the largest killer in the world, with India reporting 230 cases per 1 lakh people.
Dr Harsh Vardhan will also preside over the 45th World Conference on Lung Health, meet the Health Minister of South Africa along with the representatives of the STOP TB partnership & results and co-chair high-level meeting of the BRICS forum with Mr Motsoaledi.
Apart from that, the Union Health Minister will also discuss a possible Memorandum of Understanding with Spain, the country with the highest rate of organ donation, are also on the cards. In a statement the minister said, ‘ I look forward to this visit because I have already geared up the Ministry to accept the challenge of eliminating the TB scourge and meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) by 2015.’
He also said that he intended to highlight the need for building up a community-led action strategy in the fight against TB. He pointed out that the highest priority, according to the anti-TB drive was to make it mandatory to notify the Government about TB cases, ban commercial serological diagnostic tests for TB, start a web-based notification for tracking cases and restrict the sale of TB drugs in the open market — stopping the irrational use of the drugs.
Apart from TB, the Union Health Minister will also discuss India’s opposition to e-cigarette marketing and consumption as research has shown that it eventually leads to more people surrendering to tobacco. He will also spell out the agreement with the need for a ban of the so-called ‘Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems’ – or e-cigarettes.
In the same vein, Dr Harsh Vardhan has already attracted international attention for the fact that he has managed to levy the highest ever tax hike on tobacco products as implemented through the Union Budget 2014-15. In fact the symposia agenda planned for the event is expected to include a topic titles, ‘The impact of cigarette tax increases on tobacco consumption in India’.
Photo source: Getty images
Published : October 28, 2014 3:42 pm | Updated:October 28, 2014 4:15 pm