TAMIL NADU

World Tuberculosis Day observed

CHENNAI, MARCH 24. Hundreds of city residents, including theatre and television personalities, participated in an early morning walk from Gandhi Statue to Labour Statue on Kamarajar Salai here today to mark World Tuberculosis Day.

The message this year was `TB germs spread through the air we breathe. Anyone can get TB.' This year the focus is on the efforts of frontline TB care providers and their crucial role in eradicating the disease. World Tuberculosis Day commemorates Robert Koch's presentation of his discovery of the TB bacillus to a group of doctors in Berlin on March 24, 1882.

Since 1998, the Resource group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health (REACH), a voluntary organisation, has been disseminating information about TB and critical health issues. The walk was inaugurated by athlete Shiny Wilson. Actors S.Ve. Shekhar and Vijay Adiraj, swimming champion Wilson, and officials from the Tuberculosis Research Centre — P.R. Narayanan, Director, K. Kumararswamy, Deputy Director, Dr. Perumal, State TB Officer and Nalini Krishnan, Director-Projects, REACH — participated. Among the 500 walkers were employees of the Chennai Corporation and The Hindu , and school and college students.

At a separate function, the deputy mayor of the Chennai Corporation, R. Thiagarajan, distributed medicines to people with TB and released educational posters.

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