Nikshay Mitra: Government initiative to engage corporates for supporting TB patients is rolled out of Assam

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The Nikshay Mitra, a government project that enables people to adopt tuberculosis patients and take care of their nutritional and medical requirements, aims to combat the stigma associated with the disease. The objectives of this initiative is to provide additional patient support to improve treatment outcome of TB patients, Augment community involvement in meeting India’s commitment to end TB by 2025. The expected output of the activity is to identify community to provide additional support in regards of nutritional diagnostic as well as vocational training for TB patients. The goal is to reduce stigma around TB diseases, which can only be accomplished with community support, better care, and adoption of TB patients. Goverment of India is committed to ending Tuberculosis by 2025, and the community can play a vital role in supporting the National TB Elimination Programme (NTEP). In order to raise awareness a special initiative on “Community Support to TB Patients’ has been initiated from the state TB cell of National Tuberculosis Elimination Program Assam under the guidence of National Health Mission Assam.

As part of this Nikshay Mitra program, SRD Group of Industries and Britannia Nutrition Foundation has rolled out Nikhay Mitra program yesterday in the selected Health Institution area of Darang district and Kamrup District respectively under which both the corporate bodies have adopted tuberculosis patients and distributed nutritional supplement kits to the TB patients as per their
nutritional requirement.

Speaking on the rolling out occasion of Nikshay Mitra initiative in Mangaldoi of Darang district, Dr Avijit Basu – State Program Officer, National TB Elimination Program (NTEP) Assam said, “TB is not only a medical disease but a social problem as well. Such multi-faceted issues are beyond the efforts of health sector alone and call for comprehensive solutions by meaningful involvement of non-health sectors. We need to focus on motivating people to continue treatment and at the same time take affirmative action towards removal of superstitions and stigma. We must address TB with convergence approach engaging all possible stakeholders. Hope the initiative of dietary support to TB patients by SRD group of industries and other partner will help to destigmatize the disease”.

Dr A. J. Kalita Intersectoral Engagament Expert, STSU, National TB Elimination Program, Assam, noted, “TB is one of the world’s leading killer diseases, but it is 100% preventable and curable. Along with proper nutrition, convergence of diverse stakeholders with the National TB Elimination Program is important.” He thanked the SRD Group for the support in creating awareness and on initiating the nutrition supplement for TB patients and the steps taken for rehabilitation of TB patients.

“The figures of the TB scenario are very concerning, especially since this is a curable disease. SRD Group is committed towards its societal responsibilities and our endeavor through this initiative is to proactively create awareness and facilitate
dietary support to the selected health institution areas in Mangaldoi” said Mr. Anupam Deka, Executive Director, SRD Group. He further added that “SRD Group shall extend its full support to NTEP for sensitize the populace of the District on available interventions for treatment and eradication of TB from the society.

The ceremony was attended by Dr Malabika Gogoi, District TB Officer, NTEP Darang District, Dr Nripendra Sing of SRD Group of Industries, Mr Ziarul Haque, District PPM Coordinator, DTC Darrang District and TB patients, representatives of civil society and officials of SRD Group and District TB Cell Darang.

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