Chandigarh, 24 March: On the World TB Day, the Department of Pediatrics PGIMER and Rotary Club Chandigarh have teamed up for TB-Free Chandigarh.

A walkathon was organized at Sukhna Lake, which marked the beginning of a partnership towards global initiative to End TB, and generate public awareness.

Dr Jagat Ram, Director, PGIMER, along with his wife flagged off the walkathon in which Rotarians including Past Rotary International President Rajendra K. Saboo, Rotaractors, nursing staff of PGI, students and teachers of Bhavan Vidyalaya Chandigarh, and citizens participated.

Rtn. Dr. Meenu Singh, head of pediatric pulmonology Advanced Pediatrics Centre at PGI said that Chandigarh harbours nearly 3,000 notified TB patients and approximately 250 pediatric patients.

Department of Pediatrics, PGIMER and Rotary Club Chandigarh have teamed up and shall be working together to combat TB in Chandigarh through a series of event like screening for patients in residential colonies and organising public awareness campaign, she said.

This curable disease is still the world’s deadliest killer claiming nearly 4,000 lives per day globally and through a concerted efforts by WHO and different global agencies since 2000, nearly 54 million lives have been saved.

Last year the Prime Minister of India gave a clarion call to end TB by 2025, five years earlier than the global target.

The walkathon marks the partnership of PGIMER with Rotary Club of Chandigarh and accelerate action to End TB, said President A P Singh, President, Rotary Club of Chandigarh.

The theme of World TB Day 2019, ‘It’s time’, puts the accent on the urgency to act on the commitments made by global leaders to scale up access to prevention and treatment; build accountability; ensure sufficient and sustainable financing including for research; promote an end to stigma and discrimination, and promote an equitable, rights-based and people-centered TB response.

On 24 March 1882 Dr. Robert Koch officially announced the discovery of bacterium causing TB and it is this day each year which is observed as world tuberculosis day, to raise the public awareness about health, social, and economic consequences of the dreadful disease.