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Inaugural Address : By Mr A. Raja,
Honourable Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India
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More than 425 million people in India now have access to DOTS. Till date, more than 7 lakh patients have been put on treatment in the Indian DOTS programme, saving more than one lakh lives. In 1999, India alone accounted for more than one third of the global increase in DOTS coverage. Despite this rapid expansion there has been no compromise on quality of services and results remain technically acceptable and in many areas are excellent.
In the most recent quarter, ending June 2001:
There is no doubt that our programme could be better in many ways. Treatment could be more patient-friendly. Poorly performing areas could improve their performance. Case detection rates could increase even faster than they are. But it is fair enough to say that in virtually every key area, the RNTCP has made considerable progress.
The greater and lasting success of this revised strategy will depend upon the active participation of medical colleges. Medical colleges train our future as well as practicing physicians in the simple but relevant concepts of DOTS. Second, medical colleges have attached hospitals and clinics which cater to large number of patients on a daily basis. Many of these patients are chest symptomatics and some suffer from TB. It is of paramount importance that you not only teach the right practice, but practice the right practices as well. Third, your institutions are centres for basic, applied and operational research. We look to you for constructive and practical suggestions about how to further improve the programme.
We look forward to suggestions coming from you on how our mutual co-operation can be increased and improved. This workshop will be of use if it results in actual changes in the way you diagnose and treat patients and in what you teach to your students. Please participate fully and frankly with this end in mind.
With these remarks, I am
delighted to inaugurate this very important workshop.
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