The Union calls upon corporates to join Modi’s vision of ending TB in India by 2025

The Union in partnership with PHD Chamber of Commerce, this week brought together more than 25 corporates in a bid to scale up efforts for TB care in India. 

The session themed as UNITE to END TB was held on 21 March in New Delhi and follows on from the Delhi End-TB Summit where Prime Minister Modi announced his vision of ending TB in India by 2025, five years ahead of global SDG target.

The session opened with Dr Jatinder Singh, Director of education and corporate responsibility for PHD Chamber, expressing his willingness to join hands in fighting TB in India. He stated that corporate sector needs to be sensitised on its important role in ending TB in India. He said “On a macro level, TB causes massive economic losses- the direct and indirect cost of TB in India are huge.  On a micro level, there are tremendous impacts on individual businesses.  When our workforce contracts TB, reduced productivity and increased absenteeism is inevitable.  Moreover, when employees come to work with TB, other employees are at risk – untreated individuals can infect up 10 to 15 other people each year.”

Dr. Paula I. Fujiwara, Scientific Director, The Union highlighted The Union’s strategic role in global TB control efforts and in the upcoming United Nations High-Level Meeting (HLM).  She impressed upon the importance of HLM meetings and India’s role “India has the highest number of TB cases in the world, it makes it imperative to eliminate the disease in the country to achieve global efforts to end the disease by 2030. We are inspired by the political commitment to end TB in India made by Prime Minister Modi himself. We need this kind of leadership and commitment across leaders in the world to meet the global TB targets.”  

Dr Jamie Tonsing, Regional Director, The Union South-East Asia (USEA) office shared the regional office’s work and its impact in the country.  “The projects of USEA in India in the past few years have been able to garner higher visibility, spirit and collective call to action to make a difference. Leaders from different sectors have responded affirmatively to our call to action. Multi stakeholder approach has been crucial in raising voices against TB. The corporates have shown interest and trust to work with us in ending TB. These partnerships will accelerate our fight against TB and resonates strongly with our action cry – India vs TB”.

Dr Bornali Dutta from Medanta- The Medicity presented Medanta’s initiatives under ‘Mission TB-Free Haryana’. Dr Anoop Gupta from Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) shared his rich experience in collaborating with USEA office in launching TB-Free projects at different rural sites in his organisation. Mr Anurag Kashyap from Infrastructure Leasing & Financing Services (IL&FS) shared his learnings from the ground in launching and running projects for TB awareness and diagnosis.

Other key corporates were applauded for their impactful work on TB in India, and discussion at the session brought together experiences from across industry.