Guwahati:  State TB Officer Dr. Avijit Basu has underlined the importance of involving corporate, public enterprises and private sectors for the elimination of TB in Assam.

“TB requires urgent attention and it is necessary to involve corporates, public enterprises and private sector, for a meaningful contribution to this national mission of TB elimination,” Dr. Basu, who is also Joint Director of the Department of Assam Health Services, said.

Basu was speaking at a consultative roundtable on corporate engagement for TB elimination in Assam in Guwahati on Thursday.

“To support this courageous goal, India needs a united, corporate voice to help combat TB. Corporate can play a decisive role in the fight against TB as they not only have resources but also access to a large number of workforces,” he added.

Dr. Arup Jyoti Kalita, ISE Expert, State Technical Support Unit, National TB Elimination Program, Assam said the success of a business is closely linked to the community’s health and prosperity.

“Corporate engagement can help to take steps to improve awareness and understanding of TB at the workplace and in communities,” he pointed out.

Participating in the event, Dr. Palash Talukdar, WHO-NTEP Consultant said, “TB affects individuals during their most productive years, resulting in lost man-hours and lowered productivity. Although TB is fully curable, the long treatment period results in people dropping out of treatment. We must all work together to successfully turn the tide on TB. 

Presenting an overview of the state scenario of TB in Assam, Dr. Paranjay Bordoloi, State IEC Officer, STC Assam, outlined priorities for Assam, including engaging industries, tea gardens and public enterprises, strengthening the community response and inter-sectoral coordination for a comprehensive response to TB.

“If a worker falls ill, this will affect productivity and thereby economic loss to the company. This is a great concern and is important to design an approach and action plan to eliminate TB together. Corporate participation in overcoming TB is a very good initiative,” said Mayuri Bora, Manager-Operations, Federation of Industry and Commerce of Northeastern Region (FINER).

Dr. Simanta Bora TB-HIV Coordinator State TB Cell (STC) Assam, spoke on the TB scenario in the state and current NTEP interventions and scope of engagement of industries in TB elimination in Assam.

The meeting was also addressed by Dr. A. Sathish Kumar, Dr. Pankaj Sahu of State Technical Support Unit of National TB Elimination Program, Assam and Bimal Sarma, Managing Director Assam Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Representatives from 21 different companies and company associations participated in the consultative meeting.

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