Speaking on the occasion, Dr Gupta said that India had made a lot of progress in the fight against TB but some challenges remained. "All of us must work together to ensure that those with TB are aware of the free services for TB diagnosis and treatment that are available in the public sector. Instead patients go to the private sector and end up spending a lot of money that they cannot afford," he said.
In the English category, the joint winners were Guwahati-based journalist Bijoyeta Das for her powerful account "India losing the battle against TB?", published in Al Jazeera, and Sumitra Deb Roy of The Times of India for her discerning and lucid presentation of scientific data in her story titled, "Study: Drug-resistant TB in city air, families clear yet kids infected?"
The award in the Local Language category went to Mr Reji Joseph of Rashtra Deepika, a Malayalam daily, for his meticulously researched story on migration in Kerala. There was a tie for the second place between Mukesh Kumar Kejariwal of Dainik Jagran for his balanced and candid analysis of India's response to MDR-TB and Ranjith Chathoth of Mathrubhumi Arogyamasika for his wide-ranging account on the links between TB and diabetes.
Mr Edgard A Olaizola Story, Managing Director, Lilly, India, said to CNS: "I congratulate the winners of the fifth edition of these awards. The media plays a crucial role in educating masses about this daunting disease and it becomes imperative to reward their valuable contribution to this fight. At Lilly, we believe that TB and MDR-TB are major health concerns that cannot be solved alone and we are therefore working closely with various stakeholders including media professionals to address the challenges and barriers to its control."
"The REACH Lilly MDR-TB Partnership Media Initiative, now in its fifth year, aims to improve the quality and frequency of reporting on TB, and create role models for young journalists interested in reporting on key health issues such as TB," said Dr Nalini Krishnan, Director of REACH.
Citizen News Service -- CNS