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doi:10.1038/nindia.2016.15 Published online 29 January 2016

New funds for India's end TB campaign

NI News Network

India's efforts to end tuberculosis got a boost today with funds worth $21 million announced by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

According to US embassy sources in New Delhi, three agencies have been awarded under various projects aimed at ending TB in the country.

Under the ongoing Tuberculosis Health Action Learning Initiative (THALI) project, the World Health Partners (WHP) were awarded $7.5 million for projects in Kolkata. Another $7.5 million were granted to Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) for their activities in Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune. These two awards will assist the Indian government in testing and scaling innovative solutions to prevent, test, and treat TB, especially among urban slum dwellers and other low-income populations.

USAID also signed a $6 million award with Resource Group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health(REACH) to help the TB-free India campaign in select states and districts. The project will work with medical associations and healthcare providers to support adoption and implementation of best practices for TB diagnosis and treatment, and will seek to improve diagnosis and treatment through patient and provider-level behavioural change campaigns.

“Partnerships, technology, and innovations are essential tools to find low-cost, sustainable solutions to address public health challenges, including TB," U.S. Ambassador to India Richard R. Verma said about the new awards.

An estimated 2.2 million cases are reported annually in India, of which 220,000 prove fatal — this is the highest number of deaths from TB anywhere in the world. The awards are aimed at strengthening India's ongoing government efforts to fight the TB scourge.