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Towards a TB-free Nagaland
Published on 25 Mar. 2009 2:06 AM IST
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Marking the year’s motto to fight against TB as dutiful citizens, medical fraternity, entrepreneurs, NGOs, government officials on Tuesday observed World TB Day at the Conclave Hall, Kohima. The programme was conducted under the theme “Fighting TB is the responsibility of every citizen.” Delivering the thematic message, Dr. D. Deka, WHO, RNTCP consultant, said it was the duty of every citizen to alert the people about the gravity of TB and make Nagaland a TB free state. For this, he called upon the NGOs, departments etc to create awareness from the decision making bodies to the grass root level. He also added that stigma associated with the disease should be done away so that patients avail the services provided for them. “Our duty is to create an enabling environment so that they come out to utilize the programmes”, he said. Dr. Deka further stated that Nagaland is one of the good performing states in India in terms of detecting infection cases and treating and curing them. He lauded the medical fraternity, workers, NGOs etc from the state to the village level for their hard work. President of Kohima Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Khriehuzo Lohe, accentuated the necessity of the masses to understand the disease and know how it should be treated. He added that everyone should contribute in fighting against TB and making the environment a healthy one. Director, Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Kumini said to make Nagaland a TB-free state, the role of each individual was critical in creating awareness, encouraging people and reducing stigma. While lauding the Nagaland TB control team for their success in reducing the rate of TB in the state, she also urged the need to set higher goals to be on the top level. Dr. K.T. Lotha, state TB officer, gave a presentation on the achievement of Revised National TB Control Programme; while cured patients and DOT Providers shared their experiences. The programme was chaired by John Sweyievisa, joint director, Department of Health and Family Welfare. (Correspondent) DIMAPUR: Along with the rest of the country, world TB Day was also observed in Dimapur district under the theme ‘I am stopping TB’ at Dimapur district RNCTP office on March 24. According to an official bulletin, deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ritu Thurr while speaking at the function said the day reminds us of the historical day when Robert Koch announced the discovery of the causative organism for Tuberculosis in 1886, effectively opening possibilities for its treatment and cure. He said the theme itself is more than a slogan as it is the continuation of two-year campaign launched in 2008, where everyone is doing their part to stop TB. Despite good progress with the implementation of directly observed treatment short-course (DOTS) strategy TB cases have continued to rise in many countries in our region, especially where TB/HIV co-infection rates are high, he added. He said in this HIV era TB is one of the most common opportunistic diseases and therefore we need to fight side by side to stop TB and intervene further spread of HIV. Dr. Thurr also said that the government of India is providing well enough medicines and equipments to treat the patient but to eradicate the menace of this disease, the total involvement of the community, schools, churches and NGO’s and public leaders are needed. As long as we live in this world disease like TB, malaria and HIV would not go away from us but we should also have a strong will to fight against this disease, he added. Revised National TB control programme (RNCTP), Dimapur District in charge, Dr Khelito Zhimomi in her key note address stated that RNCTP was launched on December 2004 where 50 DOTS centre have been set up under Dimapur district that includes MCS government health set up and NGOs partners. She said that Dimapur has the highest number of TB patients among the entire district in the state. Factors contributing to high incident are Dimapur being a commercial city, lots of migrants’ laborers, slam areas, floating population, increase guest of HIV among sex workers, truck drivers and drug users etc, she explained. She said that TB patients are mostly referred from Dimapur district Hospital and are provided free treatment through the initiative of state government under RNCTP programme and is achieving National target of 70% and cure rate is 80%. Besides free diagnoses and treatment, the district TB centre also conducts training programmes, sensitization and awareness campaigns at schools and at different communities etc with active participation from medical officers, health workers, public leaders, GBs of the individuals’ colonies and NGOs to create more awareness to fight against the dreaded disease. PHEK: Phek district headquarters observed World TB day at Phek government college on March 24 under the theme “I am stopping TB- Fighting TB is the responsibility of every citizen”. According to an official bulletin, Dr. Vetsolo-u Koza who was the resource person said anyone having signs and symptoms of TB can go to the nearest designated microscopy center’s (DMC’s) and avail the opportunity offered by the government. She also said, directly observed treatment short-course (DOTS) can cure TB and treatment is given free of cost in all the government agencies and called upon every responsible citizen to fight against this world’s biggest single infectious cause of death i.e. TB. The function was chaired by Dr. Nungotso Vero while prayer was pronounced by PTBC wo-men secretary, Shekunielu Venuh. The function was well attended by Government Officials, different schools teachers and students, Church leaders and Eureka Life Foundation, Phek. MON: ‘World Tuberculosis Day’ was observed in Mon under the theme “I am Stopping TB” at D.C conference hall, with deputy commissioner cum chairman district tuberculosis control society (DTCS), Mon Dinesh Kumar IAS as chief guest. In his welcome address, chief medical officer and chairperson of the day Dr. T. Kikon said March 24 came to be observed as world TB day, after the TB causing bacteria of TB was discovered. He also highlighted the present scenario of the TB patients in Mon district, stating that TB curing rate in Mon district was 89%, far above national expectation. Speaking on the theme and activities of RNTCP (Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programmed) at Mon, DTO, Mon, Dr. M. Imyangluba Ao, said 40% of the total populations in developing countries were infected with TB bacilli. In India alone, 18 lakh people develop TB and out of which 4 lakh die due to the disease. Even though TB is curable, it still remains the biggest killer disease of the world, added Dr. Imyangluba. As per the records and treatment of TB under Mon district, chest symptomatic examined in 2007 showed 1850 suffering from TB, while in 2008 it was 1710. Patients’ diagnosis as positive sputum put on treatment, in 2007, was 350 and 440 in 2008. The deputy commissioner in his speech appreciated the DOTs providers for the voluntary service to the society, while DIO, Mon, Dr. Mukherjee shared his idea of organizing a health camp exclusively for TB patients, so as to make people aware of the disease. The programme was also attended by DOTs providers and recovered patients who shared their testimony. (Correspondent) KIPHIRE: Kiphire district also observed ‘World TB Day’ under the theme ‘Fighting TB is the responsibility of everyone’ held at CMO conference hall. He chief guest for the day was CMO, Dr. Sungit. In his speech, he stressed on early treatment of TB patients. Ehortation was delivered by Dr. Tia where he encouraged the people not to maintain secrecy where TB is concerned, but to openly fight and eradicate it from the planet. DTO, Kiphire Dr. Tali Ozukum shared about district INDCP scenario and its achievements. Testimonies were also shared by patients who were cured from TB. The programme concluded with pastors praying for TB patients undergoing treatment. MOKOKCHUNG: World TB Day was also celebrated at Mokokchung which was graced by deputy commissioner, as chief guest. In his speech, the DC called upon the people to work unitedly for eradication of TB from the state and also called for concerted effort by all towards the cause. He also said the responsibility of curing TB was not the concern of the department alone, but that it should be duty of all to help in the fight against the disease. The DC further added that TB is curable and that the stigmas on people having TB should be done away with. At the programme, testimonies of cured patients and also by patients on treatment were also shared. district TB officer, Mokokchung, Dr. Chuba also shared the achievements of department in its endeavor to provide medicines and treatment for the patients. (Correspondent)

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