India: AAPI and USAID join hands to diagnose and treat TB

The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have joined hands and launched a partnership for a TB-free India. Their aim is to utilise the 100,000 strong network force of Indian-Origin doctors to diagnose and treat tuberculosis in India

India: AAPI and USAID join hands to diagnose and treat TB

According to the Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed on April 02, these doctors will support health programs in India, engage AAPI’s network of private charitable clinics for TB awareness, detection and treatment, and explore opportunities for collaborations between U.S. and Indian medical schools to exchange cutting-edge healthcare solutions.

Home to more than one-fourth of the global TB burden, India has more TB and multidrug-resistant TB cases than any country in the world. A further one million Indian citizens, including 170,000 children are estimated to be undiagnosed and treated.

At the Delhi End-TB Summit, PM Narendra Modi had emphasised the need for a multi-sectoral approach including the private sector and announced a national plan to eliminate TB by 2025, five years ahead of the World Health Organization’s stated 2030 goal.

Speaking about the USAID-AAPI collaboration, Dr Naresh Parikh, president at AAPI said, “Elimination of tuberculosis has been a matter of national concern for many years now. Through our partnership with USAID, we aim to bring in leading subject matter experts, introduce global best practices and cutting-edge business solutions that will complement and grow existing USAID programs in India.”

Xerses Sidhwa, Director of Health at USAID/India, said, “We have been supporting the TB program of the Government of India for two decades now. Along with extending technical expertise, USAID has invested 140 million dollars to strengthen the capacity of national, state and district level-TB programs across India. With our collaboration with AAPI, we aim to strengthen the early detection and treatment of TB, with a focus on drug-resistant strains; continue our assistance to the government to plan and implement evidence-based interventions to reach a TB-Free India, and improve patient-centred TB services.”