Nearly 200,000 tuberculosis (TB) patients have been cured in the past 18 years and still more have to be treated to completely eradicate the disease, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said here on Saturday.
He said these patients have been treated under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), which is no less than an achievement.
Speaking at the national task force workshop on the RNTCP, the chief minister said the need of the hour was to create awareness to reduce the stigma associated with the disease so that people come forward for self-diagnosis.
"It's a collective responsibility of all of us to make the people realise the purpose of the national disease control efforts so that we all contribute to the comprehensive TB control programme and eliminate the disease from the country," he added.
Sounding a warning note, the chief minister said: "We have to take care of zoonotic TB as well as this was the major cause of disease from pet animals to the human beings."
Himachal Pradesh Health Minister Kaul Singh said the government was committed to open DOTS centre in every block of the state. He said each TB patient would be screened for diabetes also.
"I personally feel that nutritional support be provided to MDR (multi-drug resistant) patient through public distribution fair price shops," he added.
Surveys by the union health ministry say national TB prevalence is about 168 cases per 100,000 Indians.