Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma inaugurated the North East TB Free Summit on Tuesday and pointed out that there is significant delay in the diagnosis of tuberculosis, especially among poorer people who do not visit a doctor until the symptoms become severe.
“Community participation, enhancing nutrition, treatment innovation, tech integration, wellness and prevention interventions such as awareness about the disease, early screening and maintaining hygiene are some measures that can accelerate the goal to make India TB Free by 2025,” he underscored.
Sangma said that the state shares the national goals and aspirations and Meghalaya’s challenging terrain and dispersed population have made it necessary to establish TB diagnostic and treatment facilities in remote areas.
“The fight against TB is far from over but with unwavering dedication and collaboration we can make great strides in reducing its impact,” he said.
“In the last few years we have continuously engaged and invested in healthcare and adopted different strategies for ensuring quality health care in Meghalaya,” he said and also informed that a quantum increase on state government allocations to health care have been made.
Talking about how the engagement of women in different self-help groups have economically empowered them which in turn has improved the health scenario, the Chief Minister said, “The relationship between health and economic development can be measured by assessing the impact of health-related issues like rate of mortality, infant mortality, fertility, diseases and overall health in relation to their impact on human productivity”.
He emphasised that human capital is one of the chief cornerstones of economic development and urged the different stakeholders in the health department to continue to work with purpose, commitment and determination.
State Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Mazel Ampareen Lyngdoh said that a robust preventive procedure and concerted effort and continued focus with the participation of the community is needed to eradicate TB.
WHO representative to India, Dr. Roderico H.Ofrin said that the summit is not only to celebrate the efforts of the North East in TB eradication programs but also to spread word to other parts of the country about the good practices and learn from each other. The Chief Minister also launched the Meghalaya Mobile Portable AI-based X-ray diagnostic facility during the event.