24 Mar : Joining with the rest of the world and the state, Dimapur district observed world TB Day under the theme ‘I am stopping TB’ at the Dimapur district RNCTP Office on 24th March 2009.
Deputy Chief medical officer, Dr Ritu Thurr while speaking at the function said that the day reminds us of the historical day when Robert Koch announced the discovery of the causative organism for Tuberculosis in 1886. Effectively opening possibilities for its treatment and cure. He said that the theme itself is more than a slogan as it is the continuation of two-year campaign launched in 2008, where everyone is doing their part to stop TB. Despite good progress with the implementation of Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) strategy TB cases have continued to rise in many countries in our region, especially where TB/HIV co-infection rates are high, he added. He said that in this HIV era TB is one of the most common opportunistic disease and therefore we need to fight side by side to stop TB and intervene the further spread of HIV. Dr. Thurr also said that the government of India is providing well enough medicines and equipments to treat the patient but to eradicate the menace of this disease, the total involvement of the community, schools, churches and NGO’s and public leaders are needed. As long as we live in this world disease like TB, malaria and HIV etc will not go away from us but we should also have a strong will to fight against this disease, he added.
Revised National TB control programme (RNCTP), Dimapur District in charge, Dr Khelito Zhimomi in her key note address stated that RNCTP was lunched on December 2004 where 50 DOTS centre have been set up under Dimapur district that includes MCS government health set up and NGOs partners. She said that Dimapur has the highest number of TB patients among the entire district in the state. Factors contributing to high incident are Dimapur being a commercial city, lots of migrants’ laborers, slam areas, floating population, increase guest of HIV among sex workers, truck drivers and drug users etc, she explained. She said that TB patients are mostly referred from Dimapur district Hospital and are provided free treatment through the initiative of state government under RNCTP programme and is achieving National target of 70% and cure rate is 80%. Besides free diagnoses and treatment, the district TB centre also conducts training programmes, sensitization and awareness campaigns at schools and at different communities etc with active participation from medical officers, health workers, public leaders, GBs of the individuals’ colonies and NGOs to create more awareness to fight against the dreaded disease.