Shillong, Nov 7: Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma inaugurated the North East TB Free Summit on Tuesday at Courtyard Marriot in the presence of Health Minister, Dr M Ampareen Lyngdoh, and Dr Roderico H Ofrin, WR, WHO India.
In his inaugural address, Conrad said healthcare is one of the top priorities of the government. “In the last few years, we have continuously engaged and invested in healthcare and adopted different strategies for ensuring quality health care in Meghalaya,” he said.
Talking about how the engagement of women in different self-help groups have economically empowered them which in turn has improved the health, the chief minister said, “The relationship between health and economic development can be measured by assessing the impact of health-related issues like rate of mortality, infant mortality, fertility, diseases and overall health in relation to their impact on human productivity,” he said.
According to the chief minister, human capital is one of the chief cornerstones of economic development and any economy that is deficient in this vital component will suffer from the effects. He also highlighted the correlation between health and economic development.
The chief minister also informed that there is a significant delay in the diagnosis of tuberculosis, especially among poorer people who do not visit a doctor until the symptoms have become severe. “Community participation, enhancing nutrition, treatment innovation, tech integration, wellness and prevention interventions such as awareness about the disease, early screening and maintaining hygiene are some measures that can accelerate the goal to make India TB Free by 2025,” he added.
He also said the state shares the national goals and aspirations and Meghalaya’s challenging terrain and dispersed population have made it necessary to establish TB diagnostic and treatment facilities in remote areas. “The fight against Tb is far from over but with unwavering dedication and collaboration we can make great strides in reducing its impact,” he said.
The chief minister further urged the different stakeholders in the health department to continue to work with purpose, commitment and determination. “We should not become a government of schemes and programmes but of purpose that brings positive results at the grass roots,” he said.
Ampareen Lyngdoh, Minister, Health, in her address said that a robust preventive procedure and concerted effort and continued focus with the participation of the community is needed to eradicate TB. “We need to spread and intensify our presence as far as tuberculosis is concerned,” she told the gathering.
Dr Roderico H Ofrin said that the summit is not only to celebrate the efforts of the North east in TB eradication programmes but also to spread word to other parts of the country about the good practices and learn from each other.
The chief minister also launched the Meghalaya Mobile Portable AI based X-Ray diagnostic facility during the event.
Also present were Dr Rajendra P Joshi, DGB (TB) Government of India, Director, NEIGHRIMS, Dr Nalin Mehta, Secretaries of Health from Nagaland and Manipur, representatives from other North eastern states and senior officers from Health.