Join Hands- Change Lives of 500 Indian TB Patients

Jul 28, 2014

REACH TB HELPLINE- providing information on TB

Poster of Actor Suriya promoting the TB Helpline
Poster of Actor Suriya promoting the TB Helpline

Dear Donor,

It is the right of all TB patients and people to receive information about TB, diagnosis and treatment. Proper communication can help improve adherence of TB treatment among patients and stop the disease from spreading to others in the community. Information helps patients and people to make better decisions about their health.

Many times there is a dearth of such information in the community. Tuberculosis being associated with apathy and stigma prevents patients from accepting or learning about their disease.

In order to help patients and general public , REACH has been operating a TB Helpline since 2010.The helpline is handled by a REACH staff, who is trained to provide information on the basics of TB and guide people on treatment.

Tring…Tring… on the Helpline and people do want to know about TB.  Here is a sample of their queries-

  • My three and half daughter often gets cough and cold. Do you think she needs to be diagnosed for TB?
  • My father has been diagnosed by a doctor for TB. He has just prescribed anti TB drugs and given it to my father. As I was a medical representative I was able to realize that he was giving TB treatment. I am shocked that no mention of the disease was told to the patient and now I want to ensure that I get good diagnosis and treatment for my father? Please guide me?
  • I want to know more about the work that you’re doing as an organization?
  • I have taken 7 months of TB treatment privately? Is the treatment best in government or private?
  • I have been affected with TB twice? Where can I go for diagnosis?
  • Is asthma hereditary and is it asthma that becomes TB later on in years?
  • I know someone who has discontinued TB treatment? How can I help him?
  • I get wounds in my legs often. Can it be TB?
  • I have been diagnosed as having TB in the eye? Can a person be affected in the eye with TB?
  • My sister has MDR TB/Can it be cured completely?
  • My wife has not been responding to TB treatment for 3 months? What should I do?
  • I have the habit of smoking? Do you think I can get TB?
  • I have cough for more than 3 weeks? where should I go?
  • I have a person who is buying TB drugs? How can I help him?

We want to thank donors like you who play an important role in keeping the TB Helpline in operation.

Here’s what a caller on the Helpline said, after receiving information on TB for himself-

“ You will never know how this information on TB has helped me. It has helped me to move towards hope of a better life. Knowing about the TB Helpline, was a magic moment for me, orchestrated by the Divine Hand of God. I might never see you, but God is certainly using you to help people like me who need information on TB.”

We have received a total of more than 1000 calls so far.  Thanks for your support and do spread the word of our TB Helpline– 99620 63000  

Joseph responding to the Helpline Call in office
Joseph responding to the Helpline Call in office
May 2, 2014

Events organized for World TB Day in Tamil Nadu

Balloons signifying Hope for a TB free world
Balloons signifying Hope for a TB free world

Greetings to all!

World TB Day is observed on the 24th March every year. It marks the discovery of the TB Bacilli by Dr. Robert Koch in the year 1882.  This day provides an opportunity to increase awareness on TB and focus on the many issues that make TB control an enormous challenge.

We at REACH took an active part to organizing World TB Day events that make people more aware about TB in their everyday lives. The events focused on these objectives- to make patients and their families more aware of their role in controlling TB and reaching out to the general public and invite them to volunteer their time to stop TB.

Health Mela for TB Patients and their families

We organized a patient centric event, titled “Sandipom Sindhipom” (when translated reads as “Lets meet and think”) where we brought TB patients and their families together to strengthen and empower them, to help them voice out their challenges and concerns, and to know about Tuberculosis, their rights and responsibilities, and the roles that they could play in society to control TB. We invited patients from the government and also patients who were treated by private doctors.

The ambience of the school playground was converted to make it look like a Health Mela effect with 15 bright red stalls.  Banners containing slogans on TB were put up in and around the playground.Each stall had some specific games like balloon shooting, Aiming the Rings, Puzzle, Maze, Electric Buzzer, Kids Plane, Frog Jump, etc which the patients and their families could play. The families could also take an instant family photograph of themselves at one of the stalls. Refreshments and Tea was also distributed at one of the counters.

There were educational stalls which provided information on Tuberculosis, which was communicated to the audience through the Photo Exhibition Charts. The Rights and Responsibilities of TB Patients were displayed as a banner containing information on the Patient Charter. The patient charter is a document that sets out ways in which patients, community, health care workers and government, can work as partners to improve TB Care and enhancing its effectiveness. The roles that patients could play were also exhibited as a banner. The patients coming to this stall also received a form, which they had to fill on how they could contribute to the community for TB Care. Each of the stalls was managed by one of our staff, who ensured that the information was explained correctly and to clarify the doubts of the patients or their families.

Balloons were released into the air signifying hope for a TB free world and a pledge was taken by all to commit themselves for TB control efforts.

About 200 people participated in the event. It was a wonderful ambiance of fun and relaxation and at the same time we weaved in messages on TB, which can help patients open up to face the bigger challenge of TB control.

 Celebrity Engagement with a popular Movie Star

The second event of REACH was the TB awareness campaign focused on engaging the celebrity actor Suriya to make ordinary people to become interested in creating awareness for TB in their every day surroundings. The interested people registered themselves and received a TB kit containing pamphlets, posters and film CD on TB. They were to use these materials and participate in the campaign by doing programs for their community during the World TB Day week. After the programs they were to send in their feedback forms with the photographs of their events. Around 150 campaign kits were sent to people from different parts of our state Tamil Nadu and Awareness campaigns were conducted by the interested volunteers in many parts of the state of Tamil Nadu.

The credit of such events goes to all our donors who share our vision of a society where No one should die of Tuberculosis.

We at REACH hope to ignite a spark in all interested individuals and stakeholders to work towards a TB free world.  

You too are welcome to join us in the fight against Tuberculosis.

Thank You

Snacks distributed to patients after Registeration
Snacks distributed to patients after Registeration
Family Picture- Brings Joy to All
Family Picture- Brings Joy to All
A Glance of the Stalls
A Glance of the Stalls
Campaign Poster using Actor Suriya
Campaign Poster using Actor Suriya
REACH Team- together to STOP TB
REACH Team- together to STOP TB
Jan 28, 2014

COUNSELLING- ensures completion of TB treatment

Dear Donors,

Bringing CHANGE in a TB patient’s life is a rewarding experience. At REACH, it is part of our daily work to help TB patients lead a better life, thus ensuring TB Control. Our project for patient care and support ensures support services like counseling, helpline on TB, ancillary support; provision of nutrition, livelihood and educational support is functioning in Chennai.

We cannot do all these, without the support of donors like you! 

TB patients at REACH, receive counseling at every stage from the time of initiation, monitoring and end of treatment. This is provided by a team of trained field officers. As part of counseling, the patients receive information related to the basic facts on TB, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care on completion. Regular house visits are done to check if patients are regular with drugs and if necessary they are counseled with information related to treatment adherence. During the 6-8 months of the treatment, the staff provides vital TB related messages to the patients.

Counseling requires continuous interaction in the local language, to brief the patient on the TB messages at the hospital or at home. This individualized care and attention for TB patients enables them to complete the TB treatment.

In the year 2012, we registered 512 TB patients and we had a treatment success rate of 88 percent. In addition, we have about 500 patients who are currently on treatment as of this time.

One patient who completes TB treatment prevents the spread of this disease to 10-15 in the community. The role of counseling between the patient and staff definitely has a far-reaching impact not just on the patient but also the community.

Your contributions are helping us make a difference in their lives. Thank you again! 

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Map of Join Hands- Change Lives of 500 Indian TB Patients