Nagaland aims to eliminate TB by 2025
DIMAPUR — In an effort to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) in the country by 2025, a state-level sensitisation meeting on ‘TB Mukt Panchayat or TB-free villages’ for the district/ block-level Rural Development and TB officials was held at the conference hall of the Rural Development in Kohima on January 5.
An update from the Health department stated that the initiative was officially launched on World TB Day 2023 by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, at Varanasi to leverage the support of over 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats to raise awareness about TB, eliminate stigma attached to the disease and help monitor and improve uptake of services.
It mentioned that prior to the launch in July 2022, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Central TB Division (CTD), MOHFW and the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) for collaborative actions for an accelerated response to eliminate TB by 2025. The scope of collaboration included advocacy for TB-free villages, inclusion of TB related activities in the Gram Panchayat development plan etc.
Under the TB Mukt Panchayat initiative, health functionaries at the village and sub-centre/ HWC levels along with the support of Gram Panchayats or Village Development Boards (VDB in the context of Nagaland) make efforts towards TB elimination, wherein it is measured and validated through a certification process so that villages could be declared TB-free.
The director of RD department, Azenuo Pienyu, who chaired the programme and delivered the welcome address, assured full cooperation and support towards the noble task.
Dr. Vezokholu Theyo, state TB officer under National Elimination TB Elimination Programme (NTEP), spoke on the burden, magnitude and challenges of the disease. She informed that under the National Strategic Plan 2017-2025, Nagaland has taken many measures and activities under the four main approaches namely detect, treat, prevent and build.
She further sought concerted effort in order to achieve a TB-free Nagaland.
An overview of the initiative was shared by Dr. Collins Sono, WHO medical consultant. He spoke on the certification/ verification process which needed to be completed within the stipulated timeline.
It mentioned that the certification process would be adjudged on six indicators such as presumptive tests conducted, TB notification, UDST (universal drug susceptibility testing), treatment success rate, payment of Nikshay Poshan Yojana and nutritional support to TB patients under Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyaan.
Thungchanbemo Ezung, RD officer, elucidated about the people’s plan campaign and stated that it was instituted by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj for all Gram Panchayats, blocks and districts to prepare implementation plans and budgets for flagship schemes/ programmes for economic development and social justice.
He informed that 1278 village development boards (VDB) under 74 RD blocks are being considered for the verification process.
Report stated that a joint collaborative action plan and activities and steps to be undertaken by both the departments were stressed upon during the presentation by Temjenochetla Ao, state PPM coordinator of NTEP.
Thungchanbeni M Humtsoe, state IEC officer of NTEP, stated that a host of advocacy, communication and social mobilisation (ACSM) activities using various platforms such as social media, awareness campaigns, advocacy meetings were the need of the hour for success of the initiative.
The programme concluded with a fruitful discussion on the task that lay ahead, while the vote of thanks was delivered by Celine Thol Jami, block development officer.