Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has created an online portal where individuals can write to his office with ideas or grievances. Anyone can write to the Prime Minister—you do not need to be an Indian citizen to have your voice heard. All it takes is filling out a simple form. We encourage everyone to write to Prime Minister Modi and urge him to fix India’s broken TB promises. You can create your own message, or copy and paste the one we’ve created below about the introduction of daily FDCs. Click here to write to the Prime Minister (scroll down the page until you see the icon”Write to the Prime Minister”).
Sample message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi:
Dear Prime Minister Narendra Modi: On April 23, 2015 the Honorable Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, India, Shri Jagat Prakash Nadda launched the TB Free India campaign. More than a year later, the campaign has yet to leave the station. From diagnosing to preventing to treating TB, India’s government has failed to implement the policies and programs required to end TB in India. I call on you, in your capacity as Prime Minister, to ensure that these policies and programs are issued without further delay. One program is of particular importance and deserves your immediate attention: the provision of daily fixed-dose combination (FDC) therapy to treat drug-sensitive TB (DS-TB). Despite the endorsement of daily FDCs by the World Health Organization, India continues to treat DS-TB using single drug formulations administered intermittently (thrice weekly). Intermittent therapy makes it unduly difficult for patients to adhere to TB treatment, and the lack of FDCs means that TB treatment comes with a heavy pill burden. In December 2014, India’s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) announced it would provide daily FDCs to people with HIV starting in 104 districts in 5 states. As of August 1, 2016—579 days since the announcement in late 2014—the rollout of FDCs has yet to occur. People with TB in India cannot afford to wait any longer. Every day that FDCs are delayed is a day that Indian TB patients are denied the standard-of-care TB treatment used by every other country in the world. In the words of a resident of Delhi who is living with HIV and being treated for TB: “Treatment adherence and care-giving is so much easier with the use of daily FDCs. But introduction of FDCs and daily therapy in India’s DOTS programme have been long delayed by the Central TB Division based on premises that were programme-based (e.g. logistics and cost) rather than patient-focused (e.g. simplification of treatment, reducing pill burden). The time has come to phase out intermittent therapy—which serves as a perfect recipe for treatment interruptions—and switching to daily FDC drug regimens for treatment of TB.” I urge you to heed this patient’s call and expeditiously take all steps to ensure that all Indian TB patients have access to therapy with FDCs. Sincerely, NAME