Health Minister Harsh Vardhan
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Pune: Malaria eradication is one of the top priorities of the government, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday, and reaffirmed the Centre’s resol­ve to also eliminate diseases like tuberculosis, en­ce­phalitis and 'kala azar'.

There are diseases which are on the radar of the health ministry and malaria is one of them, he said. “We are working towards ending malaria as soon as possible,” the minister told reporters here.

“Similarly, we are aiming at eradicating leprosy, encephalitis and kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis). These are on high priority. Malaria is one of the topmost priorities,” he said.

The minister said the international target set for eradication of tuberculosis (TB) is 2030, but the Union government wants to eliminate it by 2025. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had set 2030 as the target, as part of its 'End TB Strategy' adopted in the World Health Assembly in 2014.

About the health issues faced by people of J&K, he said the government had done a lot over the past five years to address them and more was in store.

“The government is keen to address every issue in Jammu and Kashmir, including health. In the last five years, the government did so much in the Valley. We are establishing the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) (at Samba in Jammu and Pulwama in Kashmir),” he said.

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