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Nagaland observes World TB Day with call to eradicate the disease by 2025

TB Day

KOHIMA, MARCH 24: Nagaland today joined in observing World Tuberculosis Day on the theme “Yes, We Can End TB” while also committing to be part of the national goal of eradicating the killer disease by 2025.
The State-level observation was held at the Directorate of Health & Family Welfare, Kohima, with Commissioner & Secretary, Y Kikheto Sema saying every year World TB Day is commemorated on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
He urged the people to renew their commitment and rededicate themselves in the fight against TB and also unite to work towards the elimination of TB which is an infectious disease and leading cause of death worldwide.
Nagaland has come a long way and has done extensive work and various efforts have been made to prevent and eliminate TB with the support of Central funding and guidance, he said, adding that the efforts made at all levels are appreciable and commendable.
Nagaland has around 4000 TB patients and the State needs to work extra miles to achieve the goals of eliminating TB, he said.
The deadline fixed for eliminating TB across the world as per the Sustainable Development Goal is 2030 but India has committed to end TB by 2025, five years ahead with the clarion call given by the Prime Minister, he said.
The campaign calls for a social movement focused on patient-centric and holistic care driven by integrated actions for TB Free India, so aligning with the National Strategic Plan, the State Strategic Plan to eliminate TB in Nagaland by 2025 has been drafted, he informed.
The Centre has also launched “community support for TB patients” called “Nikshay Mitra Campaign” and “Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Abhiyaan (PMTBMBA)”, an initiative that was launched by the President of India on September 9, 2022, calling well-wishers/donors (individuals, corporates, NGOs, elected representatives, etc) to adopt and support patients who are not financially sound and provide nutritional support.
Expressing that most of the TB victims are poor, he said every step taken to eliminate TB may be linked directly to the life of the poor and therefore we need to support them.
In this, Sema declared to support 11 patients, one in each district for 6 months with the Food Basket till the completion of their treatment.
He also urged all officials and staff of the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare and well-wishers to come forward in adopting at least 1 TB patient with the Food Basket till the completion of their treatment which hardly cost about Rs. 3000.
He said that the involvement and support of line Departments such as administration, municipality, Social Welfare, Rural Development, Labour, Tribal Affairs, IPR, etc to fight against TB and for effective functioning of the programme and the Churches, NGOs, Private Practitioners, families, and individuals will further strengthen the programme initiatives and to achieve the goals in eradicating TB.
The Commissioner and Secretary also appealed to all concerned healthcare workers to put more efforts in finding the increasing TB cases and putting them under the right Treatment regimen as specified by the National TB Eradication Programme (NTEP) guidelines.
National Health Mission Director for Nagaland, Dr. Ritu Thurr said a strong political and administrative commitment is required along with uninterrupted supply of TB drugs and better sensitization to achieve the goal of eradicating the killer disease.
TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers, he said, adding that each day, close to 4400 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.
Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 74 million lives since the year 2000, however, the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with conflicts across Europe, Africa and the Middle East and socio-economic inequities, has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB, and placed an even heavier burden on those affected, especially the most vulnerable, he said.
High-level leadership and action to end TB The spotlight this year is to end TB and the suffering it causes, and to call for comprehensive and universal care for those affected, he said.
High political commitment to bring together Heads of State and provide the opportunity to mobilize political and social commitment to ramp up progress against the disease, he said.
“Until TB is eliminated, World TB Day won’t be a celebration. But it will continue to be a valuable opportunity to educate the public about the devastation caused by TB and how it can be stopped”, said Dr Thurr.
Medical Consultant, WHO, Dr Collins Z Sono shared on the NTEP and the journey so far, while Anjali shared on how she championed TB.
The occasion was also marked by presentation of awards to winners of Essay Writing Competition – first: Sibenya Jemu of CHO Meriema, Kohima; runners up: Atonu Khatso of CHO Chisholimi, Zunheboto, second runners-up: Zuhuvelu Chizo of CHO Khomi Middle, Phek, while consolation prizes went to Vilevono Theyo of CHO Chassir, Tuensang, and Imtinaro of CHO Khensa, Mokokchung.
State TB Officer NTEP, Dr. Tiasunep Pongener chaired the programme.
(Page News Service)