Role of Rotary in eradicating Tuberculosis from India. To address the need for creating awareness among the Rotarians and the community a small committee comprising of Rotarians from across India was created under the name “Rotary India National TB Control & Awareness Committee”. In June 2016 the Rotary India National TB Control & Awareness Committee entered into a non-financial partnership with the International Union(South Asia Region) to work towards creating awareness about Tuberculosis amongst the Rotarians and the community through the 4,000 clubs in India comprising of 40 Rotary districts, and a membership of approximately 175,000.
As a result of this partnership, Rotary India TB Control Committee will reach out to the clubs in Rotary districts in India and hold sensitization meeting of Rotary districts and awareness generation activities that the clubs can pursue. With the expert guidance provided by the INTERNATIONAL UNION several orientations and training seminars across India were conducted during past 4 years. In March 2020 due to COVID-19 all the activities came to a halt. These seminars were attended by Rotarians representing several clubs in the districts where they were held. Presentations were made by the local district/state TB officers, members of the Rotary India National TB Control & Awareness Committee and members of the INTERNATIONAL UNION. The committee has also entered into a similar partnership with the NGO “REACH”.
During these seminars Rotarians were encouraged to undertake the following activities in consultation with the local health authorities:
1. Provide nutritional support to the HIV-TB patients from the underserved community.
2. Organize awareness rallies on 24th March which is observed as the “World TB Day”
3. Create awareness amongst the private medical fraternity, the need to report every TB case to the govern health authorities.
4. Help in removing the stigma attached to the disease
5. Create awareness among school children about the signs and symptoms about the disease.
6. In consultation with the local health authorities conduct health and detection camps in industrial units employing large number of workers, in prisons etc.
7. Educate and guide the TB patients about the treatment facility and medication at government hospitals which is provided free of any cost.
8. Distribute leaflets in the community which illustrate signs and symptoms about the onset of TB and the proper coughing/spitting etiquette.
9. Encourage Rotarians to sign up and pledge their support to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to make their village, district, state, and country TB FREE
10. Members of the Rotary India National TB Control & Awareness Committee attended the World Conference on TB held in Hyderabad in October 2019. As a result of the above some of the clubs have acquired mobile units which they are using for extending reach to the rural communities located in far flung areas. Rotary has collaborated with the local health authorities and helping with active case finding.