Shillong, Nov 7 (PTI) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Tuesday said the diagnosis of tuberculosis is sometimes delayed, especially among poorer people who do not visit a doctor until the symptoms have become severe.
In 2023, the number of TB cases detected in Meghalaya is 3,935 till October.
"There is a significant delay in the diagnosis of Tuberculosis, especially among poorer people who do not visit a doctor until the symptoms have become severe," the chief minister said.
He was addressing the North East TB Free Summit here, which was attended by Health Minister Dr M Ampareen Lyngdoh and WHO Representative Dr Roderico H Ofrin.
Sangma said the state shares the national goals and aspirations and Meghalaya's challenging terrain and dispersed population have made it necessary to establish TB diagnostic and treatment facilities in remote areas.
"The fight against TB is far from over but with unwavering dedication and collaboration, we can make great strides in reducing its impact," he said.
The chief minister urged various stakeholders to continue their work with purpose, commitment and determination.
"Community participation, enhancing nutrition, treatment innovation, tech integration, wellness and prevention interventions such as awareness about the disease, early screening and maintaining hygiene are some measures that can accelerate the goal to make India TB-free by 2025," he added.
Stating that healthcare is one of the top priorities of his government, the chief minister said that in the last few years, the administration has invested in the sector and adopted various strategies to ensure that people get the benefits.
Health Minister Dr Ampareen Lyngdoh in her address said that a robust preventive procedure and concerted effort and continued focus with the participation of the community is needed to eradicate TB.
"We need to spread and intensify our presence as far as tuberculosis is concerned," she said.
The number of tuberculosis cases was 4,188 in 2021, which increased to 5,020 the next year, but came down to 3,935 till October 2023, Lyngdoh said.
Dr Roderico H Ofrin said that the summit is not only to celebrate the efforts of the North East in TB eradication programmes but also to spread the word to other parts of the country about good practices and learn from each other.
The chief minister also launched the Meghalaya Mobile Portable AI-based X-Ray diagnostic facility during the event.