Baharagora, March 20: More than 45 members of Panchayati Raj Institutions from Baharagora and Chakulia blocks participated in a stakeholders’ consultation in Baharagora today to understand the roles and responsibilities they need to shoulder to render the constituency tuberculosis (TB)-Free.
The meeting was led by MLA from Baharagora, Kunal Sarangi, who will formally kick-start the campaign for a TB-Free Baharagora on 24 March, World TB Day. REACH, a non-profit organisation currently leading the TB Call to Action project in six states including Jharkhand, organised the meeting.
“We are all making this commitment together and we will collaborate to help make Baharagoara the first constituency in India that is TB-Free,” said Sarangi. “This means we need integrated efforts for better screening, treatment and improved treatment outcomes. Let us make panchayats the basic unit to make Baharagora TB-Free,” he said.
The declaration of a TB-Free Constituency is a unique step in India and echoes the country’s commitment to eliminating TB by 2025. The efforts of various stakeholders, including Panchayat and Ward representatives, Health Department, Education Department and Social Welfare Departments are vital in achieving this vision.
Stakeholder representatives present at the meeting agreed on the need for greater awareness on TB, and identified tangible ways to engage with the community to end stigma associated with the disease. The Mukhiya of Baharagora, Ms PansariHandsa pointed out the necessity of orientation on TB related schemes of the government so that the public can avail the services that are available.
Participants at the meeting also took a decision to prepare an annual calendar for awareness meetings in the constituency with targeted check-up camps in certain areas. The roles of other stakeholders such as various local clubs and Corporate Social Responsibility initiativeswere also discussed.
All those present pledged their commitment to working with Mr Sarangi and REACH in the coming year to bring visible changes in TB notifications, treatment outcomes and services.The MLA will formally flag off the TB-Free Baharagora campaign at a meeting on March 24.