Assam to go TN way to fight TB
The project to accomplish the Centre's target of ending the disease by 2025
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Jan 7: Assam has decided to follow Tamil du by involving all registered private pharmacies in its fight against tuberculosis for timely diagnosis and treatment.
Reach, an NGO working for tuberculosis patients across the country, and Assam tuberculosis cell have collaborated to introduce a pilot project in Baksa, Sonitpur and Kamrup districts for a pilot project by involving about 84 pharmacies.
The project will be extended to other districts to accomplish the Centre’s target of ending the disease by 2025.
Arup Jyoti Kalita, the state coorditor of Reach, said pharmacies are the first point people visit, seeking medical assistance in case of any ailment.
“Under our project we will train professiols of registered pharmacies and involve them. Despite tuberculosis being a treatable and curable, at least one person dies of the disease every minute in India,” Kalita said.
The trained pharmacy professiols will advise people suffering from cough for more than a week to go for a diagnosis in a nearby government tuberculosis centre and provide medicine free of cost. The NGO will provide pharmacists incentives to encourage them to help us fight the disease.
Coughing for more than a week, weight loss and weakness are major symptoms of tuberculosis and medicine for its treatment is provided free of cost in government tuberculosis centres.
Kalita said even though the medicine for tuberculosis should be taken for six to nine months, many leave the course midway owing to lack of awareness. As per the plan trained pharmacists will provide the medicines, follow-up the cases and motivate the patients to complete the course for full recovery initially in four districts selected for the pilot project.
The project is supported by the United States Agency for Intertiol Development.
In 2012, Reach, with the support of Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, an intertiol organization, had launched a five-year project to establish a sustaible partnership with private pharmacies in Cheni and Thanjavur districts to check tuberculosis in Tamil du. The initiative helped fight the disease to a large extent.
“We should initiate a movement to mobilize all stakeholders to elimite the disease from society. Everyone should join the initiative as this is an appeal by our Prime Minister rendra Modi,” Kamrup Deputy Commissioner KK Baishya said in a workshop on pharmacists’ training on January 3.
Kalita said pharmacists who attended the workshop promised to support the tuberculosis elimition project.