Indian Red Cross Society, National Headquarters hosted a daylong meeting on 20th June, 2013 to review mkthe TB Project India which is being implemented in selected pockets of 7 states namely Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Along with IRCS, NHQ and programme state officers, the meeting was also attended by Tuberculosis Association of India (TBAI) unit representatives in those states. Special invitees to the meeting were Dr. L.S. Chauhan, Director NCDC, Dr. V.K. Arora, TBAI, Dr. Rajinder Prasad, Director, Patel Chest Institute, Delhi, Mr. John Roche, Head India Office of the IFRC and Mr. Enkas Chau, Acting Head of the IFRC Regional Delegation.
Dr. S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General in his address highlighted the excellent partnership developed during the implementation amongst IRCS, TBAI and TB control programme of the Govt. in the respective states. He added that the programme has shown exceptional success in the selected pockets due to the well orchestrated support by the Red Cross volunteers. He added that these volunteers obtain the list of patients from the local TB office and then pay periodic visits to their houses. They are the link between the patients and the DOTS centre. Apart from facilitating the regular trips to the centre the volunteers also create awareness about nutrition, hygiene, sanitation and general well being in the patient’s houses.
Dr. Agarwal informed that our volunteers have also been instrumental in fighting stigma and discrimination against the patients. He narrated some instances based on the case studies received from the field that in public places as well as in the community the volunteers have been able to educate the people about the effective treatment. Their counselling at the grassroots level has been able to influence the age old mind set of the people against tuberculosis.