Greetings to you all!
We are happy to share with you our work through initiative CHANGE to provide holistic TB care for patients.
Your donations help us to support TB patients through the course of their treatment. As you might have read in our previous report, we were able to start 422 patients on treatment.
Amulu is one of the 422 people we have been able to support and we would like to share her story with you, to demonstrate the impact of YOUR support.
“I thought I would die” said Amulu. Remembering her treatment days, Amulu, who works as a domestic help tells us her battle and triumph over tuberculosis.
Hailing from Washermanpet in the North of Chennai, Amulu’s life turned topsy-turvy in September 2013 when she fell ill. Over the next few months, she gradually became weaker and Amulu’s family took her to several temples thinking she was possessed by a demon.
After suffering for four months she consulted a doctor at REACH’s PPM centre (Public Private Centre) who in turn referred her to the REACH field officer at CSI Rainy Hospital. Our colleague Deena told Amulu to get her sputum tested and after the results came, informed her that she had pulmonary TB. Devastated, Amulu was sure she was going to die – her father had died of TB a few years ago.
The next task for Amulu was to receive counseling and be treated to ensure that she recovered from TB. With continuous counseling and home visits, Amulu’s treatment began in January 2014.
“Among all the patients I have interacted, Amulu was a tough one. I visited her home several times and counseled her frequently” says Deena, field officer at REACH.
Initially it was difficult for Amulu to follow the treatment regimen. Her neighbor was her DOT provider, who along with Deena ensured that Amulu never skipped taking her medicines.
With many side effects like vomiting, giddiness and joint pains, Amulu struggled for the first two months. After the second month, a sputum negative result brought a cheer on her face. To ensure that she continued taking her medicines, we offered her nutrition support by providing rice and dhal. She also gained weight gradually, which instilled more confidence in her.
With the support of her family, our staff and the DOT provider Amulu has successfully completed her treatment. Now, Amulu has returned to her job and is healthy today. She says, “I am so thankful to REACH and God for treating me on time”.
Your generous contributions have helped save the lives of Amulu and many others like her.
Thank you so much for your support in the fight against TB!
HOW CHANGE HAS HELPED TB PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES!
Greetings from REACH!
We wish you all a very happy and successful New Year.
India is one of the countries with the highest burden of TB in the world where, 750 people die of TB every day. It is sad to see people die of a disease that is curable and preventable. Since 1999, REACH has been working tirelessly to fight against TB and provide care and support to patients.
Our project initiative CHANGE worked to provide the following services in 2014 - Counseling and Referral support, Helpline service to information, Ancillary Care, Nutritional supplements, Generation of income and livelihood programs, Educational assistance during the treatment period.
Your generous contributions have helped in providing CHANGE for patients. We thank you for your generosity and commitment in supporting our work.
Below is a brief report.
OUR ACHIEVEMNTS in 2014
REACH was not able to support anybody for income and livelihood programs, as we did not get such requests from the patients till date.
Thank you once again and look forward to your continued support!
Greetings to all,
REACH is a nonprofit organization working in Chennai, India . Our primary activity is patient care and support. We help TB patients to know about their disease, explain the treatment options available, monitor their treatment, and support them during their journey from sickness to cure.
We have registered a total of 325 cases in this year, of which 103 were registered in the last three months. Of them about 75 patients are being provided support with patient aid.
We offer patient aid like Rice and Dhal (a staple food of South India), Kanchee powder (a nutritious mix of many types of lentils) Wheat (for diabetic patients) to patients who find it difficult to provide for themselves during their TB treatment. This is done by the field officers, who make the initial assessment by visiting the homes of the patients and directly interacting with all members in the family.
REACH provides this patient aid to all patients who deserve it. This aid is provided once a month for the entire duration of treatment. There are patients who may not have access to cooking as they may be living on the pavements. In such situations, we arrange for food from a nearby hotel to provide at least one nutritious meal for the patients.
This intervention often helps patients complete the course of treatment successfully. Sometimes lack of food can be an important reason for the patient to stop treatment.
REACH is able to reach out to the poor and needy patients through your active support. We want to thank all the donors for supporting such initiatives as they help us bring change in TB patients lives.
Every patient who is cured, stops spreading TB, and every life saved is a child, mother, or father who will go on to live a longer, TB-free life.
Quotes from TB Patients who receive food support
“I am not able to work now because of TB. When you started providing me with food support I am able to eat much better and am recovering. Thank you for your care” Patient-XXX
“I am not able to eat any solid food. The Kanchee powder provided by REACH is made for me by my mother. She mixes it with milk and makes it in a liquid consistency so that I can drink it. It’s the only food I am having right now.”-Patient –XXX
“I feel much better. Not only does this amma (means mother as a reference to the REACH field officer) from REACH gives me my medicines with love and care, she also gives me a food coupon thru which I get meals from an hotel near where I stay. I do not think I can take my treatment otherwise.”- Patient XXX
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-
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
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.
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