Docs urged to focus on villages during ‘Sparsh’ campaign

NAHARLAGUN, Jan 24: Health Services Joint Director (NLEP) Dr Reena Das Tabyo called on health officials to focus on villages during the ‘Sparsh’ leprosy awareness campaign, which is set to begin nationwide from 30 January.
She called for focusing on villages “where myths and stigma about leprosy largely exist.”
Addressing a preliminary workshop on ‘Sparsh’ at the health services directorate here on Thursday, Dr Tabyo reflected on the number of activities conducted in rural and urban areas of various districts, and urged non-performing districts to make concerted efforts.
Briefing the members on the health & family welfare ministry’s initiatives, she asked the officials to “intensify and organize the campaign and reach out to the masses urgently.”
She stressed on reaching out to anganwadi workers and ASHAs to create awareness on the disease, and asked the SLOs, DLOs and MOs concerned to send reports on time.
Acknowledging the challenges in terms of fund support, mobility and terrain, Dr Tabyo exhorted the officials to “carry out the work within the allotted fund,” but informed that there would be an increase in fund support.
Discussions were held on undertaking the campaign activities on the field level in a time-bound manner to achieve the elimination target.
Joint DHS (P&D) Dr Emi Rumi called for clear-cut plans for the next few months, and stressed the importance of the role of the SLOs, DLOs and MOs. He also suggested seeking assistance from anganwadi workers, ASHAs and GBs to spread awareness on leprosy, and advocated “dovetailing a scheme, if needed,” to support the campaign.
Dr Rumi also called on DMOs and DRCHOs to lead the implementation of the campaign activities.
Dr H Tangjang suggested involving community-based organizations and religious bodies in the leprosy campaign, besides organising a “media sensitization programme.”
Among others, Health Services Director Dr M Lego and NE consultant Dr RR Lanong spoke.