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PHARMACISTS OBSERVED WORLD TB DAY 2016 IN THEIR JOURNEY OF TB CONTROL

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Mr. Balasubramanian, proprietor of Bala Pharmacy, Royapuram addressing the community meeting

Mr. Balasubramanian, proprietor of Bala Pharmacy, Royapuram addressing the community meeting

“At the beginning, I thought REACH is getting benefitted reaching more people through me. But when the days roll out, I recognized the improvement in myself and also in my business. I have undergone several trainings by REACH which helped me to approach my customers not in a business mode but with care. When I became the spoke person of TB, I got the satisfaction of saving life of my customers and their families. Obviously, it develops the personal bondage with my customers who TRUST me completely. It is not REACH or its programs but I and my customers are benefitted.”

Mr. Balasubramanian, proprietor of Bala Pharmacy, Royapuram.

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Mr. Indrasithu, proprietor of Divya Pharmacy, Pulianthope issuing pamphlet to the customer

“Though being in the Pharmacy industry for a longer time, I considered TB as also the one of the health problems as same as fever till I was approached by REACH. When I became a TB patient, I fully understood the dynamics of TB and its social complexities the patient faces. Since then I stopped selling TB medicines at my pharmacy and advocates the symptomatic customers to approach DOTS through REACH, also supports them throughout the treatment.”

Mr. Indrasithu, proprietor of Divya Pharmacy, Pulianthope.

These are not mere words but the journey of the pharmacists in TB Control along with REACH. The pharmacists conducted the community meetings on 24th March 2016 in order to observe World TB Day. They shared their experience to the community people which in turn motivate them to approach for any TB related assistance.

About hundred people participated in the three such community meetings organized by Pharmacists on this World TB Day in Royapuram by Bala pharmacy, in Pulianthope by Divya Pharmacy and in Ayanavaram by Ramesh Pharmacy. The community meeting ended up with the distribution of pamphlets with the information about TB.

The Community Engagement in TB control was also initiated at 14 pharmacies in different localities throughout Chennai. The customers of the pharmacies are encouraged to engage themselves in one of the ways of TB control mentioned in the Poster such as creating awareness in neighbourhood and workplace; referring the symptomatic person for the treatment; be a DOTS provider etc. The motivated customer can sign under any of the categories they wanted to be the part of TB control.

The pharmacies at Tandiarpet and Pulianthope of Chennai, Tharanallur of Trichy distributed pamphlets with the information about TB to the general public. REACH, at the significance of World TB Day, gifted all its active pharmacy stakeholders with the key chains having information about the initiative.

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The customer signing her engagement in TB control at pharmacy

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Awards presented to journalists for best reporting on tuberculosis

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In the run-up to World TB Day on 24 March, the REACH Lilly MDR-TB Partnership Media Awards 2016 were presented on 22nd March 2016 at Hotel Metropolitan in New Delhi, to recognize outstanding and responsible reporting on tuberculosis (TB) at an event co-hosted by REACH, the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership and USAID.

The awards were presented by Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of The Stop TB Partnership on Tuesday, 22 March in New Delhi. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ditiu remarked that journalists had the rare opportunity to shape minds and act as powerful vehicle for social change. She urged journalists to continue reporting on TB and bring to centrestage stories that have remained untold.  “We need the media’s support if TB is to make the headlines”, she said.

Shri Anshu Prakash, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare commented on the urgency of the situation in his address. “We need to eliminate TB now and the government of India is absolutely commited to doing so. We cannot end TB in the timeframe we want to unless we work together with all partners including patient communities, civil society, the private sector and the media”, he said.

Guests of honour at the event included Ambassador Jonathan Addleton, Mission Director, USAID India and Dr Sunil Khaparde, Deputy Director General (TB), Central TB Division, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

In the English category, the winners were Sonal Matharu for her comprehensive and lucid story titled ‘Dying in the dust bowl’ published in Governance Now and R. Prasad for his story ‘Child-friendly paediatric TB drugs will be a game changer’, published in The Hindu.

In the Local Language category, the winners were Reji Joseph for his article titled ‘Kerala trailing migrant Tuberculosis patients’ published in Rashtra Deepika and Prashant Kumar Dubey for his detailed story titled ‘Nutrition and TB: Essential but Ignored Relationship’ published in Dainik Bhaskar.

Instituted in 2010, the REACH Lilly MDR-TB Partnership Media Awards highlight the vital role played by the media in informing the public and decision-makers about TB prevention, control and care. This year, over 50 entries were received from across India. All entries were evaluated by a distinguished jury including Dr Jaya Shreedhar, journalist and health communications consultant; Dr V Kumaraswami, former Director-in-charge, Tuberculosis Research Centre (now NIRT); Ms Blessina Kumar, Chair, Global Coalition of TB Activists; Mr Subrat Mohanty, The Union South East Asia Office; Dr Anurag Bhargava, Yenepoya Medical College, Mangalore; and Ms. Shobha Shukla, Managing Editor of Citizen News Service.

“Since its launch in 2003, the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership has been working with all stakeholders to fight the burden of TB. Media has played and will continue to play a very critical role in that effort and these awards recognize the contribution of those journalists who have led from the front in the journey to Unite to End TB”, said Mr Garg, Director, Corporate Affairs & PRA, Eli Lilly and Co. Pvt. Ltd.

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“Through our work with the media, we hope to not only improve the quality of reporting on TB but also support journalists with the tools and information they need to write about TB in a manner that genuinely impacts the reader”, said Dr Nalini Krishnan, Director, REACH.