Sensitization meeting on Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS for traditional healers of Umling Block 

Shillong, May 31: The office of the District Tuberculosis Officer, Ri-Bhoi District in collaboration with the Piramal Foundation, organized a Sensitization program for the Traditional healers of Umling block who are the members of the Ri Bhoi Traditional Healers Association, at the Conference Hall, office of the Block Development Officer, Umling on the 31st May 2023.

There are 34 Traditional healers from nearby villages of Umling block attended the program. The resource person of the program was the District TB Officer, Ri Bhoi District, Dr. E. Kalwing, and the CPM of DISHA, Shri J. Pohtam.

Dr. Kalwing explained about Tuberculosis, the history of TB, the causes, the signs and symptoms, treatment and especially the goal of India in combating and eliminating the diseases by 2025.

She urged upon the Tribal healers to help the program in terms of Active Case Finding (ACF), Referral of Presumptive cases to nearest government testing centres, to support TB patients in their locality for treatment adherence and to be as Treatment supporter.

Hence, by doing so people will be getting right information about the disease, improve health seeking behaviours, prevent from spreading of the disease and also help in reducing stigma and discrimination against TB patients in the community.

Shri J. Pohtam, the CPM of DISHA explained about the basics of HIV/AIDS, especially the route of transmission, the preventive methods and the treatment for the people infected by the virus. He also spoke about the Act that protects the People Living with HIV AIDS especially stigma and discrimination.

Shri A. Syiemiong, State Program Coordinator of Piramal Foundation, who chaired the program requested the participants to screen their patients who are having the signs and symptoms of TB since most of the HIV positive people are very vulnerable to TB and to refer them for testing.

He also informed them that there are many Lost to Follow-up HIV patients and they are very vulnerable as they can spread the disease to their loved and dear ones.

He added that these people may come to them (traditional healers) for treatment since they will hesitate to go back to the government facilities. Hence, he requested them to do a thorough examination and to know their history so that they can help them and also to protect themselves.

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