New Delhi, Mar 24 (UNI) Tuberculosis patients today staged a march from Red Fort to Town Hall to create awareness about the disease, which has affected about one lakh people in Delhi.
The march, organised by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to mark the World Tuberculosis Day, was flagged off by Mayor Arti Mehra, who also participated. The rally wound through the lanes of Chandini Chowk.
Representatives from various international organisations fighting TB, Central and Delhi Governments, NDMC, Indian Tuberculosis Association, New Delhi TB Association and Delhi Medical Association also participated in the rally.
Ms Mehra also flagged off various 'Chetna Raths' which will travel across various parts of Delhi to create awareness towards prevention, control and timely treatment of Tuberculosis.
Addressing the participants, the Mayor said as per the latest estimations, there are about one lakh TB patients in Delhi, out of which 40,000 are sputum positive (infective to others).
''Thousands of precious lives in Delhi can be saved if public is empowered with awareness and information with regard to this widespread disease,'' she added.
Giving details about the spread of the disease, MCD Health Committee Chairman V K Monga said India accounts for nearly one thirds of the global TB patients.
Tuberculosis in India kills more people than HIV, Malaria, Leprosy and tropical diseases combined. Two persons die every three minutes in India. Eighteen lakh cases are added in India every year and out of this eight lakh cases are sputum positive and each untreated patient can infect 10-15 healthy persons.
''It does not spare any class, creed, age or religion. It is a matter of grave concern that more than three lakh children leave school as a result of their suffering from TB. More than one lakh women are rejected by their families because they are afflicted by TB,'' he said.
''It is a myth that the victims of TB are only poor. The truth is that it is also commonly found among the rich persons,'' he added.
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