In recognition of the call for TB elimination by the Prime Minister of India, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the TB-Mukt Bharat Abhiyan to create a Jan Andolan (a people's movement) to end TB by 2025.
Further, the National TB Elimination Program (NTEP) instituted a National Technical Support Unit (NTSU) on Advocacy, Communications and Social Mobilisation (ACSM) to support program delivery by employing various ACSM approaches to reduce the deep-seated stigma attached with the disease, and mobilize communities towards increased demand for TB services; and facilitate progress review under the leadership of the Health Minister of India.
Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this NTSU-ACSM is being spearheaded by the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease; partnered by leading expert organisations in the space.
In close collaboration with the Central TB Division (CTD), the NTSU-ACSM began work in 2021 to further propel TB elimination into a groundswell people’s movement. The NTSU is supporting the NTEP in planning, implementation, monitoring and review of the ACSM interventions.
The NTSU-ACSM works alongside a wider, engaged ecosystem of TB partner organisations and state and district TB offices to strategise interventions to create awareness on TB, encourage health seeking behaviour across the Continuum of TB Care (CoC), increase political and administrative commitment at different levels, and mobilise communities as a part of the Jan Andolan vision.
The underlying principle is to build capacity of the state machinery towards establishing sustainable systems for effective planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of ASCM interventions for TB elimination.