DHARAMSHALA, March 24: Department of Health of the exile Tibetan Administration and Tibetan Delek Hospital have jointly observed the World TB Day with basketball tournament to create awareness about TB among exile Tibetans.
“I urge all members of our community, young and old, to join together for this collective effort to prevent and control TB in our community,” said Tsering Wangchuk, Kalon (minister) of Health speaking on the occasion.
“I hope and pray that soon we would be able to eliminate TB from our community.”
March 24 or the World TB Day commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch discovered TB bacillus, which causes Tuberculosis.
The theme of this year’s World TB Day is “Stop TB in my Lifetime” underscoring the need to instill awareness about this disease and endeavors to stop TB in one’s lifetime.
In a written statement, Kalon Wangchuk further called upon people having any TB symptoms such as prolonged cough, fever at night time, perspiration, chest pain, weight loss etc. to immediately seek medical care.
“Department of Health and Delek Hospital have been carrying out a number of projects to fight against TB, including free checkup, medication and awareness programs,” said Dr Kunchok Dorjee, the director of the Tuberculosis Program at Tibetan Delek Hospital.
Dr Kunchok further explained that with the help of WHO, a rapid TB testing systems, which can diagnose Multi Drug Resistant (MDR) within two hours for free of cost is installed at the hospital. “This is the only equipment of its kind available in Himachal Pradesh.” The free service is available to both the Tibetans as well as local Indians in the state.
According to Dr Kunchok the similar equipments are also available at Tibetan settlements such as Bylakuppe and Mundgod in South India.
Tuberculosis is a preventable disease that can be prevented and easily cured with prompt and proper treatment. However, every year more than nine million people are affected and over two million people die worldwide of TB.