The REACH Lilly Multiple Drug Resistant-Tuberculosis Partnership Media Awards was instituted in 2010 and highlights the vital role played by the media in informing the public and decision-makers about TB prevention, control and care.
"Through our work with the media, we hope to not only improve the frequency of reporting on TB but also support journalists with the tools and information they need to write about TB-related issues," said Dr. Nalini Krishnan, Director, REACH.
Dr.Anurag Bhargava, Associate Professor (Medicine), Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Dehradun, delivered the special address 'TB Control in India: Beyond the Bug and Drugs' and said there was a need to question why people are still developing TB.
Improvement in India's primary health care and for tackling problems like malnutrition, immunity suppressing disorders, use of alcohol and tobacco that foster TB are the compounding factors which should be taken care of. "The wait for a vaccine could be long, we need to take action to prevent it," he said.
Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare J.P.Nadda gave away the awards and mentioned that India has 2.2 million new cases every year and though it has come a long way in TB control, there is still more to cover.
Nadda said fighting TB would require a synergistic approach from stakeholders to bring down the death rate of TB from three lakh a year. "Learning and sharing is a continuous process; a lot has happened and a lot needs to be done, we need to work in the right perspective."
Treatment protocols and the steps being taken need intervention and changes to combat the spread of the disease. He believes that pushing for interventions can bring down the disease burden and spending. "A healthy nation contributes in a healthy manner," he said.