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First meet of TB Forum held in Tezpur
CORRESPONDENT
 TEZPUR, Nov 19 - The first meeting of the District Tuberculosis Forum was held today in the presence of various stakeholders at the Conference Hall of the Deputy Commissioner’s office to discuss the need to increase community participation for eradicating the disease.

The meeting chaired by DC Manoj Kumar Deka discussed various issues related to reducing stigma and discrimination associated with the disease, facilitating nutritional support to patients, establishing links with social welfare schemes, rehabilitation and social security of patients, and creating awareness about government schemes and treatment facilities available.

Dr Paranjoy Bordoloi, State information, education and communication (IEC) officer for advocacy, communication and social mobilisation (ACSM), said that a paradigm shift has occurred in the effort to curb tuberculosis, with efforts being stepped up to eliminate the disease from the country by 2025.

“Focus is being laid on making quality TB diagnosis and treatment available to all members of the community while stepping up activities to detect new cases,” he said.

Dr Nayan Jyoti Das, Additional Director of Health Services, Assam, said that the stigma associated with the disease was the main hindrance in detecting tuberculosis and delivering treatment. He spoke on new policies formulated for eradicating the disease along with new diagnostic methods and different lines of treatment.

He said clinical establishments and health workers are now liable to attract penalty under the Indian Penal Code for failing to notify public health authorities about tuberculosis cases.

DC Deka asked health officials to lay special focus on tea garden areas and to carry out intensive sensitisation campaigns.

District TB officer Dr Sanjoy Roy, and Joint Director, Health Services, Dr Krishna Kemprai also spoke in the meeting.

As per a decision taken in the meeting, an awareness camp will be held at Rangapara Railway Field on the sidelines of Shramik Kalyan Diwas on November 23.

Three TB patients who were present in the meeting shared their stories of complete cure and thanked the health department and doctors for their guidance and support.

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