Blossom Trust staff were out in force to get behind this year’s World TB Day slogan Unite to End TB. This year our World TB Day commemorations consisted of two large-scale awareness-raising activities. The first was a live telecast that was broadcast between 4.30pm and 5.45pm. During the first half hour, Blossom Monitoring and Evaluation Officer G. Ganeshan discussed Blossom’s Campaign for Education, Prevention and Treatment (CEPT) II project, and the impact it was having in the district. G. Ganeshan was joined by TB patient, Mr. Mathiparkasam, who informed viewers on the services that CEPT provides and how he personally had benefitted from Blossom’s activities in the community.
Blossom Director T. Mercy Annapoorni took over for the second half of the segment to discuss the work of CEPT II, the achievements of the programme and the prevalence of the disease. Dr. Palaniyappa joined T. Mercy Annapoorni, to discuss the history of TB, cultural beliefs surrounding the disease, the symptoms of and the treatment options for the disease. Together they answered questions from audience members who called in, mostly asking if their symptoms were consistent with TB and how they should deal with the disease.
The second activity took place in both Virudhunagar and Kanichipuram Districts. Blossom Trust staff members took to the streets to raise awareness of the disease. In Virudhunagar 20 banners were put up by eight Blossom staff and volunteers, including local auto-rickshaw drivers who were eager to assist. We were greeted warmly by shopkeepers who agreed to put banners on their storefronts. For three hours, Blossom staff handed out nearly 3,000 leaflets in and around Virudhunagar town explaining TB, its symptoms, prevalence, treatment options and about Blossom’s CEPT project.
In Kanchipuram four staff and volunteers were greeted just as enthusiastically as they put up 16 banners and handed out leaflets for four hours.
Awareness plays a huge role in the eradication of tuberculosis and the stigma associated with it. We hope that we were able to raise awareness of the situation and help in the process of ending TB once and for all.