Shillong, June 14 : The State Tuberculosis Office under the umbrella of National Health Mission, Meghalaya held a two days Capacity Building of Front-Line Staff on Counselling Soft Skills on 13 and 14, June, 2023 at The Habitat Shillong in collaboration with Saksham Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai and supported by XIM University, Bhubaneswar and Saksham Pravaah.

Dr. M. Mawrie, State TB Officer, inaugurated the programme. Addressing the health staff, he reminded about the State and Country goals towards TB Elimination by 2025. He informed them that it is important for every persons affected by tuberculosis and their family members should be counselled at every opportunity, to address information gaps and to enable informed decision-making.

The Training objective is to train the front line staff, which includes Senior Treatment Supervisor and TB Health Visitor about social determinants of TB, introduction, principle and skills of Counselling. Through this training, the staffs are learning to utilise the skills of counselling and the way of approach while treating TB community.

The training designed and implemented by TISS was entirely participatory focusing on practicing counselling skills and experiential in nature.

The important message for all the health staffs while working with TB community is to have non-judgemental approach and be empathetic towards TB patients.

To address the gap, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India came with a national helpline number 1800-11-6666 where anyone can call the number and get free TB counselling and treatment support for 24×7.

Counselling is an important component of TB treatment adherence. It can help patients understand their condition, the importance of treatment, and how to manage side effects. Counselling can also help patients to overcome the stigma associated with TB, and to build a support network.

The training of front-line staff in counselling is an important step in the fight against TB. It will help to ensure that patients receive the support they need to complete their treatment and achieve a cure.