Nagaland Users’ Network and ARK respond on issue of Bedaquiline
Dimapur, March 29 (EMN): The Nagaland Users’ Network and ARK Foundation has issued a “further rejoinder” to a press statement, said to have been issued by the Nagaland TB Officer that Bedaquiline was approved in India in 2015. The statement was published in the other newspapers.
The two organisations issued a press release on Tuesday. The press release explained: Based on a letter sent to the Prime Minister of India by civil society organizations and community networks on January 13 this year stating to immediately scale up the Bedaquiline program and registration of Delamanid in India, the Director General of Health services had in March replied about the efforts to make the drug available under the program more so as a result of the Delhi High Court’s Judgment.
“In this regard, NUN and ARK Foundation stated that these agendas are beyond the capacity of the state RNTCP and therefore suggested them not to make unnecessary rejoinders but to follow up on the suggestions put forth, which was called upon them to propose the need for these drugs to the central TB division in Delhi, in their Annual Action Plan,” the two groups stated.
“On the issue of the year of RNTCP being launched, NUN and ARK foundation stated that the year is not a primary concern. However, the source of 2001 was based on the earlier website of the RNTCP Nagaland which webpage has been changed and now shows as 2012, as the year of launching.”
The two nongovernmental organisations have suggested to the RNTCP “not to create more confusion but to work on updating their source.”
Regarding the CBNAAT clarification, NUN and ARK foundation mentioned that they were “very well aware of the limitations with the department at Tuensang and Zunheboto district.” However, they observed that the RNTCP “cannot be laid-back but further work with the Govt and its machinery to getting the machines installed.”
“The lives of the patients in these districts cannot be sacrificed to suffice the high case load of Kohima and Dimapur,” the two stated. Further, the NGOs questioned, “why the STO chose to clarify only on this and not make any mentions on the absence of the district TB officer at Tuensang.” Though the IPT and 99 DOTS were launched in December 2016, the clarification failed to highlight on the IPT service uptake of the total HIV reported case of 2663 in Kohima and 7607 in Dimapur as of April 2006 to March 2016 which stands to be of concern, the press release stated.
The Nagaland Users’ Network and ARK Foundation have urged the Nagaland RNTCP to “aggressively work on reaching out, counsel and linked PLHIVs to the services (IPT & 99 DOTS), not only in these two districts but even in the other districts as well.”
The The Nagaland Users’ Network and ARK foundation have also made it clear that the “purpose of the press statement was to serve as a means of strengthening the partnership resulting to a collaborated effort between RNTCP and NGOs.” They have advised the RNTCP “to be open for constructive criticism.”
The two organisations have assured that they are open to discussions if required.