IEP Chandigarh, March 24
Adhering to the vision of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to make Punjab number one state in terms of Health, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Balbir Singh on the occasion of World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, gave a message to make Punjab a TB-free state by the end of 2025. Sharing his views on this occasion Dr Balbir Singh said that throughout Punjab a number of awareness activities are being organised from time to time. He said although TB is a contagious disease, it is completely curable if detected early and treated on time. It is a common misconception amongst people that TB causes death, but in reality it is not the case, he said, adding that timely diagnosis and treatment prevents the further spread of the disease. Underlining the need of collective action to end TB, Dr Balbir Singh said this year’s theme of the TB day ‘Yes! We can End TB! ‘, which signifies our collective effort to end TB. A mass movement is needed, in which cooperation of the general public as well as the government is necessary. Elaborating on the efforts being made for the eradication of TB, he said that eight districts of Punjab have been awarded by the Central Government with bronze certification for reducing the new caseload by more than 20 per cent. Dr Balbir Singh further said that under the National TB elimination program, all the necessary efforts are being made to eradicate TB from Punjab by the year 2025. On the occasion of World TB day an awareness program was also organised at the Director Health Punjab’s office, where Secretary Health cum MD National Health Mission Dr Abhinav Trikha was the chief guest and Dr Amarjeet Kaur Senior Regional Director HFW Chandigarh also graced the occasion with her presence. Speaking during the function Dr Trikha called on to end the stigma in the society relating to this disease and he exhorted everyone not to discriminate with a TB patient in any manner. During the function, Dr Ravinderpal Kaur Director Health Services ( Family Welfare) appealed to everyone to pledge for contributing efforts at any level for the eradication of TB. She also gave away prizes to the winners of the quiz and slogan writing competition which was organised on the occasion. A TB champion Varinder Kumar, who has already been cured of TB and is now working with the department to help eradicate TB, shared his views on how he defeated TB with government’s free treatment within a span of six months and he is completely healthy now. The Minister appealed to the community, civil society organisations, healthcare providers and state partners to unite under the banner of “TB haarega, Desh Jeetega” and move forward for eliminating TB by 2025.
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