DHARAMSHALA, MAY 18: A Tibetan doctor currently working with the Zero TB program of the Central Tibetan Administration was honored with the Stony Brook University-Public Health Program's 2018 Norman H. Edelman Alumni Achievement Award in New York on Thursday.
A former student of Public health under the Tibetan Scholarship program, Kunchok Dorjee received the award at the convocation held at the Stony Brook campus.
Dr. Kunchok said he was most honored and humbled to receive the award. He expressed his gratitude to his mentors and teachers at Stony Brook where he studied public heath.
“The education I received and the overall experience I gained at Stony Brook opened me up, gave me a global perspective of things and reinforced my commitment to public health. Everything I learnt then during my education here, I am using now in my daily work,” said Kunchok in his address to the convocation.
Dorji expressed satisfaction at the diminishing cases of Tuberculosis in Tibetan schools. “I recall that in 2011, I went on a field trip to a Tibetan boarding school in Northern India. There were thirty cases of active TB in the school then. Last month I visited the school again and found only two cases of TB. So I am convinced that with a continued effort, TB free schools are possible. But there is still much work to do.”
Dorjee said the community must be made an active participant in the process. “Understanding the make up of the society, its culture, and perceptions and then developing interventions, I think that is the way to go.”
Dorjee, a physician and an epidemiologist, currently works on a range of infectious diseases such as TB/MDR-TB, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C, etc. and their intersection with chronic conditions such as diabetes mellitus. "I feel that a change in our approach from disease control to disease elimination for a number of diseases, such as TB, is necessary, taking advantage of the 21st century communication system and technology."