World TB Day: Awareness program held at AIIMS Delhi

More than 300 students took part in a 3-km marathon to express solidarity with TB patients and raise public awareness about the disease on World TB Day at AIIMS Campus, New Delhi in association with DBT, Govt of India and Becton Dickinson (BD) India

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The run was flagged off by Member of Parliament Smt Meenakshi Lekhi and Professor Sarman Singh at the JL Auditorium, AIIMS campus

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Sarman Singh, Faculty-in-charge, Microbiology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, AIIMS said, "Early identification and treatment of TB is the key to preventing further spread TB. Our aim is to reach out to every TB patient and urge them to go to the nearby government health centres if they show symptoms of tuberculosis that is cough and fever for more than 2 weeks."

In addition, a day-long symposium was organized in AIIMS auditorium attended by experts including Dr KS Sachdeva, CTD, RNTCP, Dr Amita Jain, KGMC Lucknow, Dr GC Khilnani, AIIMS, Dr AB Dey, AIIMS and Dr PN Dogra, AIIMS. The Chief-Guest on the occasion was Dr VM Katoch, former secretary and DG-ICMR, DHR, Government of India. Experts at the symposium opined that India should generate its own data reading efficacy of various diagnostic tests. Special attention need to be provided to high risk groups such as babies and young children, older adults, people who have other disease that weaken the immune system, and those who were infected with the TB bacteria in the past.

Mr Varun Khanna, managing director, BD India said, "Left untreated, each person with active TB may infect on average between 10 and 15 people every year. In 2013, the World Health Organization identified 3 million missing TB cases globally of which 1 million were in India. BD is committed to responding to the needs of those affected by TB and this year we are pleased to drive this awareness campaign for the second consecutive year at AIIMS campus. It is an effort to help address the diagnosis and treatment to our missing million. In our efforts to address such unmet healthcare needs in India, we are strengthening the healthcare systems heavily burdened by TB."

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