Assam tea industry
Representative image.

Tea garden companies have come together with the Assam health department and REACH to launch TB-free model gardens in upper Assam’s Dibrugarhn district.

“I am glad to see that this innovative idea of a Tuberculosis-Free Model Garden Programme of ELM was launched at the tea garden in Namrup. I hope this model will be replicated in other gardens as well’, Dr Udayan Barua, Joint Director Health Services, Dibrugarh said here on Thursday.

He was speaking at the inaugural meeting for the rollout of TB-Free Model Tea Garden under the employer led model for Tuberculosis prevention and care in the tea gardens of Dibrugarh.

This was organized by REACH, a non-profit organization currently implementing the TB Call to Action Project supported by USAID in Assam, in partnership with the District TB cell and Namroop Tea Estate.

“TB has a social stigma and is a potential threat to everyone. Earlier talking care of TB patients was the sole responsibility of the family. That notion now, however, has changed and it is now a social responsibility,” said Bikram Chetri, Circle Officer of Naharkotia.

“We extend the full support of the administration and expect all the managers of the tea gardens to come forward to participate in the implementation of this initiative. We need inter sectoral convergence in order to eliminate TB from tea gardens,” he said.

“The tea garden communities are more prone to TB because of poor nutrition and living conditions. I call on all tea garden managers to spread awareness and knowledge on TB and its treatment for their workers. We need to put our best foot forward and adopt ELM for prevention and care of TB for all employees in the tea gardens,” Purnananda Khaund, CMO, APPL & Senior Administrator RHRC, Amalgamated Plantations Pvt. Ltd, pointed out.

TB screening was conducted and samples of presumptive TB patients were collected for testing by officials of District TB cell and staff of Namroop tea garden hospital at the programme. A street play on TB was also performed by the “Muskan” girls club at the meeting venue.

Mahesh Deka

Mahesh Deka is Senior Copy Editor of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: maheshdk3@gmail.com

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