Globally, tuberculosis continues to be a severe public health issue. In India, the threat is even more alarming. India accounts for over a quarter of global TB burden. Over 2 million new TB cases are detected every year in India, with nearly nine million people in the country living with the disease. Hence, TB is a critical health challenge in India and needs a comprehensive approach to solve the problem.
On World TB Day, March 24th of 2015, GRAVIS organized a discussion meeting on TB. Government representatives, NGOs, academics and people living with TB participated. Various aspects around origin and treatment of the disease, prevention, and myths associated were discussed. Views of people living with TB and their challenges were heard. The details of the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) of the Govt of India were presented too.
GRAVIS, as an active organization working on healthcare aspects, has been addressing TB related issues in its work in over 1,200 villages of the Thar Desert. Its work ranges from educating communities to training of health workers and TB advocates, screening and referral of patients, and research and advocacy. GRAVIS has also taken key initiatives in bringing silicosis and TB together in planning and implementation of lung health activities.
TB, as a major public health challenge for India, needs a multi-pronged approach revolving around awareness generation, capacity building, patients’ identification and treatment, research and policy advocacy. Participation from every sector of society is needed. March 24th provided an opportunity to regenerate and demonstrate the solidarity against TB.
*Dr. Prakash Tyagi, Executive Director