U.S. Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster today launched a bold new initiative designed to galvanize India’s corporate sector in the fight against tuberculosis (TB). This initiative supports the Government of India’s ambitious goal of eliminating TB by 2025, which would be five years ahead of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal. The initiative creates a shared platform for corporations committed to ending TB in India. The event was held in partnership with the American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM India) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
This TB platform will recognize corporations for their commitment and contributions to ending TB, and link them with the resources they need to better plan and implement TB programs. India’s Ministry of Labor and Employment, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is scheduled to sign a new Workplace Policy Framework for TB in the coming weeks, which will create a shared understanding of how companies can contribute to control TB in the workplace.
As part of this effort, USAID is launching a “TB Pledge” to encourage the private sector to increase resources to combat TB, raise awareness of TB as a curable disease, and, ultimately, improve TB health outcomes. This pledge will contain several tiers, based on a company’s level of commitment to adopt a TB workplace policy, implement TB workplace programs, and fund TB programs through corporate social responsibility resources.
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Juster noted, “The United States is proud to be working with the Indian government to bring the corporate sector and civil society together to seek to eradicate this devastating but curable disease. Indian companies can play a key role in assuring a healthy India. We ask all of you here today to get involved in the fight against TB through the TB pledge.”
The U.S. Government, through USAID, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health have been partnering with the Government of India to tackle the burden of TB, particularly multi-drug-resistant TB, through public-private partnerships that accelerate testing, diagnosis, and research to develop new TB drugs and vaccines.