AAPI Signs MoU to Eradicate Tuberculosis in India

AAPI leaders joined by several not for profit leaders at the signing of the MOU to eradicate Tuberculosis in India
AAPI leaders joined by several not for profit leaders at the signing of the MOU to eradicate Tuberculosis in India

NEW YORK (TIP): On the concluding day of the 10th Global Healthcare Summit in New Delhi, India, January 31, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work towards eradicating Tuberculosis (TB) by the year 2030 in India. “Continuing with AAPI’s mission, which is to provide a forum to facilitate and enable Indian American physicians to excel in patient care, teaching and research, and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs, and giving back to their motherland, India, this historic signing of the agreement, is yet another way of showing our continued commitment to helping make India’s over a billion people, healthier,” declared Dr. Seema Jain, President of AAPI.

While India has been proactive against TB in recent years, there is still a long way to go. This signing of the agreement by AAPI, leading policymakers, administrators, technical experts, media persons, and members of civil society working in India’s TB landscape is truly a landmark in in AAPI’s history, Dr. Jain added. The MoU outlines the multifaceted nature of the TB epidemic, its impact on communities, learnings from global successes and the way forward towards tackling the disease successfully.

While Dr. Seema Jain, signed the landmark document on behalf of AAPI, Jamhoih (Jamie) Tonsing, Regional Director of The Union South-East Asia Office; Dr. Manoj Jain, Adjunct Associate Clinical Professor at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University; Dr. Narendra Saini of the Delhi Medical Council; Kavita Ayyagari, Project Director (Challenge TB)’ and Dry Neerja Arora, Advocacy & Partnerships Officer at The Union, South East Asia were among others who had signed the document to work towards eradicating the deadly disease from the face of the earth.

India bears the world’s largest burden of tuberculosis (TB), accounting for one-fourth of all new infections. Given that it kills nearly 300,000 people in India every year, the prevention and control of TB is a challenge at multiple levels, requiring the united efforts of a diverse range of stakeholders.

Anwar Feroz, Honorary Advisor of AAPI, who had emceed the event, referred to the 10th international healthcare summit as a progressive transformation from the first Indo-US Healthcare Summit launched by AAPI USA in 2007. “Since then AAPI has organized nine Indo-US/Global Healthcare Summits and developed strategic alliances with various organizations. It is these learning’s and relationships that have now enabled us to be part of this outstanding event that has been attended by very prominent and talented world leaders in medicine to help shape the content and make significant contributions towards “make in India” theme.

While India has been proactive against TB in recent years, there is still a long way to go. This publication features articles from leading policymakers, administrators, technical experts, journalists and members of civil society working in India’s TB landscape. It outlines the multifaceted nature of the TB epidemic, its impact on communities, learnings from global successes and the way forward towards tackling the disease successfully.

The vision underlying the MoU envisages is for a TB free India, through achieving Universal Access by provision of quality diagnosis and treatment for all TB patients in the community. It involves extending the reach of RNTCP services to all people diagnosed with TB, including those with drug resistant TB, and those seeking treatment in the private sector.

Based on other international guidelines and standards, the government of India has developed by a large number of organizations and individuals, both within and outside of the Government of India. The Standards describe what should be done, and the TB treatment and care that should be provided throughout India.

The 10th annual Global Healthcare Summit (GHS) 2016 organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) concluded here on Sunday, January 3rd, 2015 with a call to continue to focus on initiatives to prevent diseases and make healthcare affordable, accessible and efficient for India’s over a billion citizens. Building on past achievements and identifying new areas to collaborate with the Government of India, GHS 2016 has been historic.

The Summit also helped establish India-centric guidelines for management of head injury and trauma. “The Trauma and Brain Injury Guidelines, which has been a unique contribution of AAPI has been accepted by the Government of India and been for the first time made part of the curriculum by the Medical Council of India,” declared Dr. Seema Jain, President of AAPI. The historic 10th annual conference, attended by over 500 delegates from around the world, including 384 physicians from the United States alone, held from January 1st to 3rd, 2015 at the Maurya ITC Hotel in New Delhi, was packed with seminars, workshops and symposiums on modern research and healthcare topics.

Dr. Seema Jain urged members and supporters to come and participate in the 34th annual convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) to be held at the Marriott Marquis, Time Square in New York from June 30-July 4, 2016. For more details on AAPI and its various initiatives to make India’s healthcare system affordable, accessible and efficient, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

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