On World Tuberculosis Day, ‘Mask for the Masses’ campaign was launched at the Government Stanley Medical College Hospital to promote the use of masks and prevent the spread of tuberculosis and COVID-19. This year, World Tuberculosis Day was observed on the theme ‘The Clock is Ticking’.
Speaking at the awareness programme on Tuesday, Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said patients with tuberculosis and other lung diseases were prone to COVID-19 due to their low immunity. He stressed on the need for cough hygiene, masks, physical distancing and vaccination of patients with tuberculosis and lung diseases.
He said every year, about 10 million were affected and 1.4 million die of tuberculosis across the world. In 2020, 24 lakh individuals were diagnosed with tuberculosis in India.
Around 62,000 tuberculosis cases were diagnosed in Tamil Nadu last year, according to a press release.
He released two booklets on latent tuberculosis infections and the difficulty in treating cases.
R. Narayana Babu, Director of Medical Education, spoke on the syndemic of tuberculosis and COVID-19, and on the steps being taken to control both diseases. Among others, P. Balaji, dean of the hospital, and Asha, State tuberculosis officer, were present.