04 November 2019 | News
Johnson & Johnson announces series of collaborations to improve health outcomes for TB patients
image credit- formias.com
Johnson & Johnson has announced the expansion of its tuberculosis (TB) program in India. Through a series of new collaborations with several multilateral and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as the Government of India, the company aims to help support the country’s efforts to end TB by 2025, as outlined in its National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination.
A major part of Johnson & Johnson’s comprehensive 10-year initiative to achieve a world without TB, this expanded India program aims to broaden appropriate access to treatment for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), improve detection of undiagnosed cases, build critical health systems capacity, and raise awareness about TB at the community level. Earlier this month, Johnson & Johnson committed to invest $500 million over the next four years to help end the TB and HIV epidemics.
“TB is a devastating disease that needlessly claims nearly half a million lives in India every year,” says Sarthak Ranade, Managing Director, Janssen India, Johnson & Johnson Private Limited. “Fortunately, we have better tools today than ever before, which offer new hope to patients, families and communities affected by TB. What is needed now – and urgently – is coordinated action. This is why we are proud to collaborate with our partners to comprehensively address the challenges presented by TB and DR-TB.”
Johnson & Johnson’s Expanded TB Program in India includes:
Improving diagnosis rates and linkage to care
Training healthcare workers to improve standards of care
Raising awareness of signs and symptoms of tuberculosis
• Launch of a mass awareness and behavior-change campaign “MTV Nishedh,” in partnership with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. Launched in September 2019, the campaign aims to place a spotlight on TB as an urgent public health issue, while at the same time helping to reduce the social stigma associated with the disease in order to prevent TB transmission and encourage patients to seek treatment.
• Launch of a Metro Awareness project in Hyderabad in collaboration with local government and TB Alert India, that aims to increase awareness of TB through visual campaigns in 45 metro trains.
• In addition to this, Johnson & Johnson has supported community awareness campaigns that involved 24,000 auto-rickshaws, 21,000 buses, 200 taxis, 11 trains, 7 radio stations, 112 theatre screens and 590 street plays.
“Johnson & Johnson’s experience in introducing a new TB medicine shows that medicines alone are not enough to tackle AMR,” says Dr Vandita Gupta, Franchise Head, Infectious Diseases, Janssen India, Johnson & Johnson Private Limited. “We must strengthen our public health systems, train more health workers on the appropriate management of TB and DR-TB, raise community awareness, and ensure patients are diagnosed in a timely way and then successfully treated. The programs announced today form part of our broad commitment to helping India reach its ambitious goal of ending the TB epidemic by 2025.”
For the past four years, Johnson & Johnson has worked with the government of India to help scale up access to bedaquiline, including by providing 22,000 courses free-of-charge as part of a donation program, coordinated in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).