A daylong training on Substance Use Disorder and Tuberclosis organised by Health Care

Namchi, 10th January (IPR): A daylong training on Substance Use Disorder and Tuberclosis organised by Health Care, H.S
& FW Department for panchyat presidents, municipal councillors, medical officers of PHCs/CHCs and health workers of PHSCs was conducted at the conference hall of District Hospital Namchi today.

Chairman NJMC Mr. Tika Gurung attended the program as the Chief Guest alongside special guest DC South Mr Prabhakar Verma. The program also saw the attendance of District Nodal Officer South, Dr. Urgen Sherpa, Mission Director of NHM Dr. Bimal Rai, Panchayat Presidents, municipal councillors, medical officers, health workers, police personnel and other stakeholders from South district.

Chief Guest Mr. Tika Gurung addressed the gathering where he lauded the initiative of the Health department for organising program of such nature which acts as a catalyst for a positive change in our society towards eradication of drug abuse. He spoke in detail about the dire need of creating a mass awareness regarding the hazards of drug addiction and illegal trafficking in the society of today. He also bought to light the existence of an OST and health centre in Jorethang established for the benefit and welfare of both TB patients and drug abusers by the State Government. Additionally, he also highlighted that the revised acts relating to SADA have been garnering positive results as they are aiding drug addicts to socialise and reintegrate themselves into the society. The Chief Guest also proposed a dire need of prevention programs that are properly implemented by schools and communities whereby teachers, parents, family and the society as a whole comes together in eradicating and uprooting drug hazard from its source.

DC Prabhakar Verma also addressed the gathering wherein he emphasised the immense responsibility of the stakeholders from all walks of life in curbing TB as well as drug abuse. He appealed the Panchayats to work in coordination with the health department to identify, monitor and refer people to rehabilitating centres and hospitals who have fallen prey to substance abuse or patients who have been diagnosed with TB. Likewise, he urged civil societies, religious organization, student, teachers, educators and youths and media to shoulder collective responsibility in making Sikkim a drugs free state and asked each of them to shoulder key role in motivating drug users towards leading a healthy life.

Resource person for the technical session, Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Bibhusan Dahal gave a comprehensive PPT presentation on Substance Use Disorder. He discussed various types of substance abuse and elaborated the most common ones relevant to Sikkim. Illustrating and assessing instances of mental illness, addictive behaviour, environmental and risk factors arising out of drug abuse was also dealt with during the session. Dr.Dahal also spoke about the management and mitigation methods as well as intervention to identify, control and prevent drug abuse amidst vulnerable drug users in our society.

Resource person, State Programme Officer (SADA) Dr. Tekendra Rai also took to the occasion to explain how SADA works at controlling, regulating and preventing abuse of prescription drugs and controlled substances with abuse potential being misused by addicts and traffickers to make stringent provisions to deal with the ever increasing phenomenon of drug abuse. He explained how the act understands the societal challenges posed by addiction at various facets which serves the state, well in terms of fighting the social menace.

Similarly, S.I Mr. Prashant Rai also spoke about the roles and responsibilities of police in addressing drug abuse, drug peddling and drug smuggling in the society. He delved into the search and seizure procedure adopted by the police during various drug busting operations and also addressed the misconception held by the society against the police personnel in terms of disposal of seized drugs. He also made the participants of the meeting aware about the social media handles of Sikkim Police and South District Police where people under anonymity can report cases of drug peddling or consumption in their vicinity.

DTO (East) Dr. Shanti Mishra also spoke about prevention and control of Tuberculosis in the workshop where she made the gathering aware about symptoms, effects and caused of Pulmonary TB. She also spoke about the prevalence of social stigma against TB patients and urged the society at large to redress this attitude of ostracism. Dr. Mishra also spoke about treatments for TB while also explaining various support rendered by the Central and state Government for the TB patients of lower strata of society. She earnestly called upon the panchayats to publicize the aim of the State Government to make Sikkim free of MDR-TB by the year 2022 and shared that a monthly grant of Rs 3,000 to every TB patient as nutritional support and cash award of Rs 5 lakh for the TB-free gram panchayat unit and Rs 10 lakh for a zilla panchayat territorial constituency free from TB has been declared by the State Government.

The program also saw an interactive session between the participants of the training and the resource persons.

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