M.S. Swaminathan calls government, NGOs to come together
Agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan on Saturday said government and non-governmental organisations must come together to tackle diseases such as tuberculosis, leprosy and HIV/AIDS.
Speaking at the ‘Light of Hope' concert, organised by REACH, an NGO working for tuberculosis control, at Hotel Chola Sheraton here, he said organisations like REACH helped in terms of identifying patients and provided them wholistic treatment, which included nutritional support when drugs alone are not enough. “It is very difficult for government to provide this kind of attention and follow up on such patients,” Prof. Swaminathan said.
He presented mementoes to representatives of companies and hospitals, who extended support for the activities of REACH.
REACH Director Nalini Krishnan said that in the last year a total of 15,000 persons had been sensitised through various activities, including street theatre and skits. The organisation had also created a network of 200 private practitioners, 50 pharmacists and provided nutritional support to 200 patients.
Dr. Nalini Krishnan said that a total of 793 patients had registered with REACH last year and expressed hope that the number would cross the 1,000 mark this year. REACH also ran a special programme for persons addicted to alcohol and having tuberculosis.
The annual report of REACH was released by Sundaram Finance Ltd. Managing Director T.T. Srinivasaraghavan.
Carnatic vocalist Vijayalakshmy Subramanian enchanted the gathering of donors and friends with a selection of mesmerising songs. She was accompanied by R. Hemalatha on the violin, A.S. Ranganathan on the mridangam and H. Sivaramakrishnan on the ghatam.