Chennai

TB survivors form national coalition

With the aim of creating and sustaining a national coalition of people affected by tuberculosis, survivors of the disease from across the country have come together to form ‘Touched By TB’, a national-level body working towards a TB-free India.

One of the things missing from the TB response, said Blessina Kumar, a coordinator of the coalition, has been the voice of the affected community.

“When people who have been affected by the disease are part of the response, it makes a difference. This was a huge gap that needed to be filled, and this initiative aims to bridge that gap,” she said.

The coalition has formed five regional focus points — in the north, south, east, west and northeast parts of the country. The idea is to come together and begin advocating as a united voice, said Ms. Kumar.

The burden of tuberculosis in the country is high — 1,500 people die of the disease every day.

Advocacy measures

The coalition hopes to have people on the ground level connected nationally, support the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, provide inputs in terms of information and ground realities, advocate for more funding, research and people-friendly products, as well as focus on early diagnosis and treatment, said Ms. Kumar.

Awareness and treatment literacy for people living with TB, networking with and supporting the Ministry of Health and overcoming barriers to TB treatment and diagnostics are some of the coalition’s other goals.

The coalition was created after a regional capacity building workshop for TB survivors organised by the NGO REACH in New Delhi last month. There are around 30 participants at present, and any resident of India who would like to be part of the efforts to end TB can email the group at touchedbytbindia

@gmail.com


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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 7:35:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/tb-survivors-form-national-coalition/article18416534.ece

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