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US Grants Rs.190 mn to Fight TB in India

The United States Tuesday announced a grant of Rs.190 million ($4.17 million) to prevent the spread of tuberculosis (TB) in India//.

An agreement to this effect was signed by US Ambassador to India David C. Mulford and World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to India Salim Habayeb.

The money, to be given through UN agency, will help India undertake research and implement the national disease control programme at the state-level.

"Our government supports tuberculosis control in India because of the enormous public health impact and economic burden of the disease. Each day a thousand patients die of the disease," Mulford said in a statement.

Highlighting Indo-US cooperation on medical research, Mulford said President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have "agreed to expand joint efforts in the areas of science and technology, including medical research to address issues of global concern such as infectious disease control".

The joint statement emphasises the sustained commitment of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide financial and technical support to WHO for strengthening the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme in India.

"The US has invested Rs.1.83 billion ($40 million) in the fight against tuberculosis in India since 1998," the statement said.

The country loses nearly 43 billion dollars due to the disease every year. The number of TB cases in India is double that of China, which has the second largest TB cases.

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