GUWAHATI, Oct 4: “Government of India has set the target of eradicating Tuberculosis (TB) by 2025 and for that purpose, each and every member of the society must be made aware about this disease. Public representatives must take responsibility of creating awareness about TB in their constituencies and they have to work towards dismantling the wrong notions prevailing about TB in the society.” Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said while speaking at the ‘Together for TB’ roundtable conference organised by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India in collaboration with Resource Group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health (REACH) at the central hall of Assam Legislative Assembly.
Saying that the social ostracising of TB patients is the result of wrong notions about the disease which cannot be accepted, Sonowal stated that conscious citizens must take initiative to change such a scenario for the better. He also informed that the action taken by the seven countries –India, Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria and South Africa- where 64 percent of the new TB cases worldwide are detected would decide the world’s success in defeating this disease. India being one of the largest countries affected by TB must play a leading role in its combat, he said.
Referring to ‘Annual Status Report for TB in India 2018’, the chief minister said that 36720 people were detected to be affected by TB in 2017 in Assam’s government hospitals whereas 3454 people were detected at private hospitals which took the total number of TB patients to 40,174 in the state. He urged the health department to create massive awareness about the disease with the help of public representatives, NGOs, trusts, teachers and students.
Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly Hitendra Nath Goswami also spoke in the programme which was attended by Industry and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, leader of the opposition Debabrata Saikia, MoS for Health and Family Welfare Pijush Hazarika, several MLAs among others, a communiqué said.