Governor calls for collective efforts to eliminate TB

IMPHAL, 24th MARCH: Governor Dr Najma Heptulla called upon all stakeholders to pursue vigorously to contain and eliminate Tuberculosis (TB), while addressing the 36th World Tuberculosis Day observance at Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Science auditorium here on Friday.

             The observance held under the theme ‘Unite to end TB - Leave No One Behind’, was organised jointly by State TB Cell, NHM, DTC Imphal East and West, VIHAAN. The day is observed every year on March 24 to commemorate the day when Dr Robert Koch discovered the TB bacillus in 1882.

             While addressing the gathering, the Governor said, “I am very happy to be among you today on this occasion of observance of World TB Day. The purpose of the observance is well reflected in the theme: Unite to end TB: Leave No One Behind.”

           “We all know that prevalence of TB among the people, particularly among the poor is always a matter of concern for the public health authorities,” the Governor said, adding that public perception of the disease is such that it creates panic in the mind of the people.

           Stating that TB disease is curable, the Governor stressed the need for proper awareness campaign to disseminate wide information. “Many a times, we have seen that those who are suffering from TB like to hide it,” the Governor noted, and reiterated the need to spread awareness on the disease at all level, especially starting from school.

           She further said that TB is known as the King's disease, and if the patient is economically sound the disease can be easily cured with proper diet. “The World TB Day on March 24 each year is designed to build public awareness about the global epidemic of the TB and efforts to eliminate the disease,” she added.

           The Governor also expressed concern over the stigma attached with the disease and said efforts need to be taken up to clear all wrong notions associated with TB. Expressing happiness on getting to know that the day is also observed in different parts of the state, the Governor said, “I am happy and hopeful that the concerned health authorities will continue to pursue vigorously to contain and eliminate the dreadful disease.”

            “It is also a matter of great satisfaction that the Government of India under World Health Organisation has been taking up various measures to eradicate TB from the country. A well-orchestrated awareness campaign and an informed public will help in the effective application of the preventive measures,” she added.

           In India, in the rural areas especially, people are prone to this disease because of their lifestyle. One common cause of the TB in the lung is the inhalation of smoke emanated from burning of firewood. This is most common among women who used fire-woods for cooking purposes. The disease is also common among those who smoke, the Governor noted.

            The Governor also released the Annual Report 2016 (Revised National Tuberculosis Control programme) on the occasion. Manipur Legislative Assembly Speaker Yumnam Khemchand attended the function as guest of honour while JNIMS Director Dr Laishram Deben was the functional president.

           In the morning, Chief Medical Officer Imphal East Dr Kh Indra Singh flagged off a rally from CMO Complex Porompat. Participated by ASHA workers, DOT providers, NGO (from both Imphal East and Imphal West) members among others, the rally concluded at the JNIMS auditorium gate. Renowned singer Guru Rewben Mangshava and his troupe performed the opening song of the observance.

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