A State-level Tuberculosis Forum meeting at IDSP Conference, Department of Health and Family Welfare on November 28. (Morung Photo)
Morung Express news
Kohima | November 28
A State-level Tuberculosis Forum meeting was held at IDSP Conference, Department of Health and Family Welfare on November 28.
Commissioner & Secretary (H&FW) V Kezo while preceding over the meeting remarked there was need to take strategic steps for the State to achieve its goal to eliminate TB by 2025, 5 years ahead of the global timeline. Now with only two years left at hand to meet the national deadline, Kezo said addressing success of treatment, a comprehensive data of patients was required. There were areas for improvement with regard to use of latest machines such as truenat and other resources and enhance awareness among others, he observed.
WHO Consultant, Dr Collins Z Sono discussed about TB Forum and said the primary objective is to collaborate with policymakers and implementers to enhance service delivery, advocating for justice and rights, of TB patients. Making a presentation on estimates of the tuberculosis (TB) burden for 2022, Sono said there were 10.6 million cases of TB incidence worldwide. In the context of India, it was 2.8 million, accounting for 26% of the global burden. Children with TB was also rising which stood at 24.6%.
In this regard, he said the TB forum seeks to support and enhance government efforts in implementing TB patient-friendly laws, policies, and programs, while working towards the reduction of stigma and discrimination, social security for TB patients, survivors.
It also aims to raise awareness about government schemes and facilities for TB patients, promoting treatment literacy, and adherence to treatment through evidence-based advocacy to expand services.
It also seeks to encourage community participation through platforms like advocacy by TB champions especially in communities affected by TB. At the same time, the community networks are regularly monitored. Other initiatives, Sono mentioned were nutritional support to TB patients and other social welfare schemes.
Meeting minutes were moderated by State TB officer, (NTEP), Dr Vezokholu. Topics discussed during the meeting were political dedication from elected representatives, Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan (PMTBMBA), TB Mukt Panchayat, and TB Champions' involvement in NTEP, Advocacy Communication Social Mobilization (ACSM) among others.
Dr Apichetia Amer, assistant programme officer said there was absence of counseling and motivational assistance for tuberculosis (TB) patients. TB champion, Rudisula gave her testimony of her experience.