New Delhi: Climate change and conflict are hitting efforts to tackle three of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, the head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has warned. International initiatives to fight the diseases have largely recovered after being badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Fund’s 2023 results report released on Monday (September 18). But the increasing challenges of climate change and conflict mean the world is likely to miss the target of putting an end to AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030 without “extraordinary steps”, said Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund.
There are positives, he said. For example, in 2022, 6.7 million people were treated for TB in the countries where the Global Fund invests, more than ever before, and 1.4 million more people than in the previous year. The Fund also helped put 24.5 million people on antiretroviral therapy for HIV, and distributed 220 million mosquito nets.
But in a statement accompanying the report, the Fund said that getting back on track after the pandemic had been made “much more challenging by a combination of interconnected and colliding crises”, including climate change.
For example, malaria is spreading to highland parts of Africa that were previously too cold for the mosquito carrying the disease-causing parasite. Extreme weather events like floods are overwhelming health services, displacing communities, causing upsurges in infection and interrupting treatment in many different places, the report said. In countries including Sudan, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Myanmar, simply reaching vulnerable communities has also been immensely challenging due to insecurity, it added.
But Mr Sands said there was still hope, in part due to innovative prevention and diagnostic tools. This week, there is a high-level meeting on TB at the UN General Assembly, and advocates hope for more of a focus on the disease.
India Efforts In Eradicating Tuberculosis
Talking about India’s fight against Tuberculosis, Union minister Jitendra Singh had recently said that a public-private partnership (PPP) with integrated strategy is essential to achieve a “TB-mukt Bharat” (tuberculosis-free India). At an event on Sunday (September 17), Minister Singh said India’s efforts to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025 are a role model for the world.
The minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office was speaking after flagging off the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi (SMVD) Narayana healthcare “TB-Mukt Express”, a mobile medical van that will visit different villages in his parliamentary constituency Udhampur, with the slogan “Chalo Chale TB ko Harane” (let’s defeat TB).
The event coincided with the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The Minister said,
India’s efforts to eradicate TB by 2025 are a role model for the world. The citizens need to work collectively towards TB elimination in the true spirit of Jan Bhagidari.
He said considering the deep societal and economic impact caused by tuberculosis, the BJP-led Centre has placed high priority for a “TB-mukt Bharat” by 2025. He added,
Biotechnology is going to play a huge part in the integrated holistic healthcare approach towards the elimination of tuberculosis.
He said strategies, such as engaging the private sector, active case finding, decentralisation of services through health and wellness centres, community engagement and the Ni-kshay Poshan Yojana, have transformed India’s tuberculosis management efforts and made it patient centric.
At the event, Singh distributed kits among the TB patients adopted by him in his constituency to take care of their daily needs in order to accomplish the prime minister’s vision of a tuberculosis-free India.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.