Odisha Health Minister Pratap Jena launches TB Communication materials and TB Mitra App

Bhubaneswar: The Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Odisha, Shri Pratap Jena launched Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials to raise awareness on tuberculosis (TB) in the state at the Health Department Conference Hall in the Secretariat today. At the meeting, TB Survivors and Champions of Odisha announced the formation of the first state-level network – Kalinga TB Survivors Network – in the presence of the minister.
Speaking at the launch, Shri Jena said, “This is indeed a milestone. The fight against TB is an arduous one. The men and women whose quotes are on the posters exemplify courage and perseverance. It is encouraging that they have taken on the task of being grassroots level advocates to fight stigma and myths on TB.” The minister called for wide dissemination of the IEC materials launched today.
The IEC materials were developed by REACH, an NGO, in collaboration with the State TB Cell and the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Odisha, and with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The IEC materials launched included outdoor collaterals featuring Odisha’s Ambassadors in the fight against TB – Padma Shri Prafulla Kar, Padma Shri Sudarshan Pattnaik and Shri Kuna Tripathy – on themes such as Active Case Finding, Daily Regimen, DR-TB, Direct Benefits Transfer, Myths and Stigma, Private and Public Sector Notification responsibility, Symptoms and Adherence. In addition, posters and videos featuring TB Survivors sharing their experience on TB were released.
Also speaking at the meeting, Principal Secretary, Health, Government of Odisha, Dr. Promod Meherda IAS, said, “The engagement of community members, private sectors and others are vital in the road towards TB elimination. We are happy to have today, posters that quote TB Survivors who have braved the disease.”
“There are several gaps in spreading awareness on TB. The nuances have to be kept in mind. I appreciate REACH in supporting the Department of Health and Family Welfare for the development of the IEC Materials,” Dr Meherda added.
Kalinga TB Survivors’ Network
The core members of the network are trained TB Champions, who participated in a state-level capacity-building workshop organised by REACH in Bhubaneswar in December 2017. They are currently enrolled in the advocacy mentorship programme of REACH.
“On behalf of the TB Champions of Odisha, I am happy to formally announce the formation of the Kalinga TB Survivors network. We will continue our efforts towards enhancing community awareness on TB and patient support activities,” Saique Ali, a schoolteacher and TB Champion, said.
The Minister said that the formation of the network would help the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) machinery in Odisha to reach out to thousands more and help those being treated get cured.

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