In a bid to sensitize private pharmacists on tuberculosis (TB), REACH, the NGO working for TB eradication in the country, organized an orientation and training workshop for private pharmacists to strengthen private sector engagement in the state of Assam.
The workshop was held in Kamrup (Rural) district on Wednesday, in partnership with State TB Cell (STC), Assam.
Speaking on the occasion, K K Baishya, Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Rural), said, “We should initiate a movement to mobilize all stakeholders to eliminate TB from our society. Everyone should come forward to respond to the disease as this is an appeal by Prime Minister of India.”
This training workshop attempted to encompass the establishment of a ‘sustainable partnership’ with private pharmacists in the response to make Assam TB-free. The training was conducted as a follow-up of the rollout meeting of the pharmacy model held on August 25 last year in Guwahati.
In 2012, with support from the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, REACH embarked on a five-year journey to establish sustainable partnership for TB control with private pharmacies. The initiative encourages pharmacies to refer those with TB symptoms in order to promote timely diagnosis and treatment.
Dr Parthajyoti Gogoi, senior regional director, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), noted, “Government of India is aiming to eliminate TB by 2025, which falls before the timeline of United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” Referring to Tamil Nadu’s successful pharmacy engagement initiative, Dr Gogoi appealed to the private pharmacists to support this mission.
The meeting was attended by private pharmacists, who gave their commitment to support the TB elimination programme. Welcoming the delegates, Dr S M Sarma, Joint Director of Department of Health Services, Kamrup (Rural), expressed commitment of the Health Department to eliminate the disease from the country.
The project is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).