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Sand Artist Sudarshan Pattnaik Carves Commitment to Unite Against TB on World TB Day

Bhubaneswar, March 24, 2017: On World TB Day 2017, three eminent Oriya personalities – musician Padma Shri Prafulla Kara, sand artist Padma Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik and actor Shri Kuna Tripathy were announced as TB Ambassadors for the state.

All three Ambassadors expressed their commitment to improving awareness and public understanding of TB in Odisha. Speaking the previous day on Puri beach, where he created a sandart installation, Padma Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik said, “I want to create awareness about TB together with the state government and REACH. India has a big TB burden but there is a cure, so let us all become more aware that we can become TB-free.”.

“Generally celebrities are expected to endorse cosmetics, or fabrics, jewellery items or any other luxurious brands, so if we celebrities stand with causes like TB, then the society is surprised. So, why I am I here? The society gave me name, fame, identity, respect, but what I am I giving it back to the community. I was shocked to hear that every three minutes, someone dies of TB in India. I am here to join the fight against TB”, said popular Odia actor and stand-up comedian Kuna Tripathy.

Also speaking on the occasion, Padmashri Prafulla Kar, award-winning Odiya musician, commented, “Our commitment as ambassadors or TB champions in this campaign is to increase awareness amongst everyone, so that we can jointly work towards eliminating TB in the state. Some of us are aware about TB but we have joined this cause to spread awareness amongst all”.

“We have believed for a long time that the fight against TB needs the active involvement of leading artistes and intellectuals. We are delighted and grateful that Shri Prafulla Kara, Shri Sudarsan Pattnaik and Shri Kuna Tripathy have declared their commitment and look forward to working with them to dispel the many myths and misconceptions that persist around TB in the community”, said Dr Nalini Krishnan, Director, REACH.

The Ambassadors were felicitated at the World TB Day event organized by the State TB Cell and Government of Odisha, which brought together government public health officials, civil society organizations, TB Survivors and affected communities.

“Together with our TB Ambassadors from the state, I am certain that we will control TB by 2020 and eliminate it by 2025. We are very thankfully to development partners like REACH so we can unite to end TB and achieve zero TB deaths”, said Dr Kailash Chandra Dash, Director of Health Services, Government of Odisha.

With over 1,300 deaths per day, TB continues to be a grave public health crisis in India. The New National Health Policy re-emphasizes India’s commitment to eliminating TB by 2025, reducing deaths, suffering and catastrophic costs related to the disease.

The TB Call to Action Project is being implemented with support from USAID in Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Bihar and Rajasthan. Through this project, REACH seeks to amplify and support India’s response to TB by involving previously unengaged stakeholders and broadening the conversation around the disease.

Applications Invited: Regional Capacity-Building Workshop for TB Survivors

Last date to Apply: 20 February, 2017

THE OPPORTUNITY

Globally, there is growing recognition that the fight against TB must actively seek the participation of those most affected by the disease – individuals who have had TB and their families. It is their stories, their experiences, their voices that matter, that will resonate with communities, policymakers and governments and that can reduce stigma, accelerate investment in TB, advocate for a transition to patient-friendly approaches and raise the profile of TB.

This workshop is intended for those who have had TB or been directly affected by the disease and have a keen interest in building their capacity to be effective TB Advocates and Champions. The workshop will adopt inclusive, participatory approaches to learning and will focus on:

  • Building knowledge on different aspects of TB
  • Understanding the public and private health responses to TB including TB service delivery
  • Contextualising individual experiences within the national / regional/ global fight against TB
  • Developing key advocacy and communication skills to share personal experiences with different audiences

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

This workshop is open to TB survivors and those who have been directly affected by TB from the following countries:

  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Bangladesh
  • Philippines
  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam

An ideal applicant is:

  • A TB Survivor or someone who currently has TB
  • Alternatively, has been a care-giver to a close family member affected by TB.
  • Keen to openly share his/her experience of TB and become a TB advocate
  • Willing to participate in a six-month mentorship programme (if chosen)
  • Fluent in English, with both verbal and written communication skills

Women who meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply.

Selection: All applications will be evaluated by a committee and shortlisted participants may be contacted for a telephonic/skype interview prior to selection.

Venue and funding support: The workshop will be conducted between 10-13 April in New Delhi, India. Selected participants will be provided with all support for travel, accommodation, visas and related expenses.

Application deadline: The last date for receiving applications is 20 February 2017.

The completed application form must be sent by email to tbcalltoaction.reach@gmail.com by this date.

For any clarifications, please contact REACH at the above email address.

You can download the application form here. 

To download the flyer, click here.

TB Call to Action project launched in Odisha

“Controlling tuberculosis remains one of India’s biggest health challenges and causes vast socio-economic losses. We have to ensure complete diagnosis and treatment for all TB patients and access to free services at their doorstep,” said Shri Pradip Kumar Amat, Hon’ble Cabinet Minister, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Odisha, through a message released at the launch of TB Call to Action project in Bhubaneswar on December 17, 2016. The project is being implemented by REACH, an NGO dedicated to the fight against TB since 1999.

The launch event saw the participation of several key government dignitaries. Speaking on the occasion, Bhubaneswar North MLA Shri Priyadarshi Mishra shared stories of people affected by TB whom he had met in his constituency. Calling on all stakeholders, including other parliamentarians and elected corporators to join the fight against TB, he said, “I must congratulate REACH for coming here to eradicate TB in Odisha. Each of us, all stakeholders, play an important role to control TB in the state.”

With over 1,300 deaths per day, TB continues to be a grave public health crisis in India. In Odisha, the State TB Cell, as part of the Central TB Division’s Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, works with a three-point vision to ‘reach all, detect all and treat all’. Specifically, the Odisha government’s TB programme focuses on early detection among the vulnerable populations of the state. This effort requires a multi-sectoral approach, that brings together various stakeholders, from the national and state governments to partners – both public and private – in the fight against the disease.

Dr Kailash Chandra Dash, Director, Health Services, Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW), Government of Odisha, Dr Jnanindra Kumar Tripathy, Director, Public Health, DoHFW, and Dr Sanjukta Sahoo, State TB Officer, addressed the gathering and spoke about the state’s programme to control TB.

The Resource Group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health (REACH) is currently implementing the Tuberculosis Call to Action (TBC2A) project with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr Amar Shah, Project Management Specialist (Tuberculosis Care and Control), USAID, said, “To accelerate progress towards ending TB, USAID is taking the momentum that is being generated at the national level to select states in India, where partners will employ targeted advocacy and outreach all the way to the district level. USAID and REACH will work hand-in-hand with the Odisha government, public health officials, private healthcare providers, corporate organisations, civil society, and most importantly, people who are directly affected by TB. We will work collectively with these stakeholders to amplify and support the state’s efforts in the fight against this disease.”

This project aims to transform the TB landscape in India by improving access to high quality services and reducing suffering and deaths. “It is a great honour and challenge for us to embark at the state level. We have been truly and warmly welcomed in Odisha by one and all, and we look forward to beginning our optimistic journey in this state. Through our efforts, we seek to amplify and support India’s response to TB by broadening the conversation around the disease and involving previously unengaged stakeholders, thereby raising the profile of TB at the national and state levels,” said Dr Nalini Krishnan, Director, REACH, in her address.