SHILLONG: The Meghalaya government has identified the state’s “challenging” terrain and the “scattered” population as obstacles in its fight against eradicating tuberculosis permanently from the state.
Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, while inaugurating the North East TB Summit on Tuesday in Shillong, said that the owing to these hurdles it has become significantly important for his government to establish TB diagnostic and treatment facilities in the far-flung areas of the state.
“The fight against TB is far from over but with unwavering dedication and collaboration we can make great strides in reducing its impact,” he was quoted as saying by the local press.
Chief Minister Sangma also shed light on the urgent need to address the significant delay in the diagnosis of tuberculosis, particularly among the economically disadvantaged individuals.
“They often do not seek medical attention until the disease has reached an advanced stage,” he said.
To mitigate such hurdles and spread awareness among the population in the state’s remote areas, the Chief Minister stressed on the importance of a government driven by purpose rather one depended on schemes.
“We should not become a government of schemes and programmes but of purpose that brings positive results at the grass roots,” he said.
He also added that prevention measures such as early screening and maintaining hygiene are some steps that can accelerate the goal to make India TB Free by 2025.
The inauguration was also attended by Health Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh and Dr Roderico H Ofrin, Representative of WHO India.
Health Minister Lyngdoh said that the state has been collaborating with the Centre on ground to wipe of the disease from the country.
“We will try really hard to be in line with the Centre’s motto – TB harega; desh jitega (Tb will lose; nation will win),” said Health Minister Lyngdoh, concluding her address.
Dr Ofrin said that the Summit is much more than just a celebratory event highlighting Northeast’s effort in this fight against TB, but an awareness exercise.
An AI-based diagnostic machine too was unveiled by the Chief Minister during the event.