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May 12, 2020

eCounselling saves a woman from being abandoned


Dear Donor,
We are all passing through a difficult phase where COVID-19 has taken the entire world in its grip.
Operation ASHA, its staff and communities have all joined in the fight against this pandemic.
At the same time, we continue to provide end to end services of high quality to our TB patients and their families and communities. In our tradition of developing and implementing unique innovations, this World TB Day, we are making our eCounselling videos available to the entire world. This video-based counselling has also been built into an eCounselling software application which can be run on any Android device.
Use of these videos to counsel patients before the onset of TB treatment, during treatment and before the onset of continuation phase improved adherence among intervention group by 9%, in a random
distribution, with all other conditions remaining same, ceteris parabus.

The eCounselling application was launched country wide in Cambodia on May 9 last year
treatment). Not only that, it has also been used in India, Afghanistan and Zambia. Since then we have
made critical improvements in the eCounselling software. eCounselling Application support has been
provided so far to 18465 patients with nearly 5600 hours of watch time.

These videos and the eCounselling application are a gift from our partner,  QualComm Wireless Reach , to the world.

At this time, we are making the videos available to every TB patient, health worker, trainers, experts and organizations globally. Stay tuned for the release of videos in Hindi and Marathi and
the eCounselling software.  

Click here to download the videos and join us in improving the lives of TB patients world over.


Awards and Media mentions: 

Operation ASHA won the FIFTH ESTATE GRANT of HCL Foundation in the Health category at HCL
Technologies. It was an honour for our CEO, Mr Sandeep Ahuja, to receive the award from Shri Shiv
Nadar, Ms Roshni Nadar, and the living legend Shri Kapil Dev.

OpASHA's unique model was recognized by USAID - US Agency for International Development in a case study that noted "Operation ASHA’s key strength is the
combination of community empowerment, biometric technology, and fingerprint identification to track
adherence to medication and ultimately decrease the burden of TB in communities and the prevalence
of MDR-TB& quot;
Read the full article here (Page-99 to 102)
On this “World TB Day” Operation ASHA’s CEO, Sandeep Ahuja, wrote an article on how Coronavirus Pandemic can teach us about fighting older enemies and how India has to address a set of challenges and move quickly to achieve the seemingly impossible target of TB eradication in the next five years.
The article was published on two eminent media platforms, News18 and Indian Express Pharma.
Read the full article here:
The findings of a case study on Operation ASHA undertaken by World Bank and Harvard Business
School says, “Patients enrolled at biometric-equipped centers are 25% less likely to interrupt
treatment". The study further notes biometric tracking decreases data forgery. Full paper can be
accessed here-
Operation ASHA has helped hundreds of poor persons and families of TB patients through financial
support for rent & rations during lockdown. Preventing migration of vulnerable population is necessary to control Corona Pandemic in India. This is an ongoing initiative.
Ripple Effect Images, an US based charitable organization wrote an article on how Operation is going the extra mile to treat isolated communities in Cambodia and beyond.
Operation ASHA has been Fighting TB Worldwide & delivering results cost-effectively across multiple metrics for several years now. In recognition of this, it has been a recipient of Platinum level Seal of transparency accorded by Guide Star USA.

Feb 10, 2020

eCounselling motivates TB patients to complete treatment

Panel Discussion on Role of technology in TB
Panel Discussion on Role of technology in TB

We are privileged to be doing the work we do: screening disadvantaged people for Tuberculosis (TB) and treating them. We work in slums, villages, mountains, and islands, with people of all religions and castes; we serve joyfully with love in our hearts for all. Apart from India, we have trodden rocky paths in rural Cambodia, war-torn Afghanistan, and remote villages of Tanzania and Zambia. Our results are a revelation. We serve more than 12 million people, we have the highest treatment success rate in the world, and both the death rate and spread of infection is going down dramatically in our areas.

Saving lives is important and that’s what we do. But there are 3 other reasons why TB treatment matters:

1.    Bridging the gender gap:

In many marginalized communities, boys are encouraged to play outside, study, and take up jobs. Girls are expected to stay home. Our Community Health Workers (CHWs) belong to the communities they serve. They encourage women and girls to step outside their homes, go for walks, read books, and play and connect with their peers. They insist that fresh air is important for health, and this works! For the first time, we found that women were spending quality time in going for small walks and engaging in outdoor activities, and within the families themselves, girls were given the same freedom as boys. 

2.  Connecting women across socio-religious barriers:

CHWs encourage regular interactions between women who are TB patients themselves or who have a family member suffering from TB. They help and support each other, do hand-holding, give encouragement and advice. It’s a long and difficult journey, and they realize they need each other. Often there are tensions running high between different religious groups, but our work promotes goodwill and fosters empathy through shared experiences and promoted camaraderie.               

3. Empowering women to work and earn:

TB treatment is a poverty alleviation program. Treated patients get health and dignity, they get their jobs back. And when it is women who are working and earning, you can imagine the kind of respect they get from their families. Now no-one can ill-treat them or discriminate against them in any way. 
With more than 10 million new cases each year, TB has become a behemoth. We need your support, and we need it urgently. Every step is a step forward towards curing the worldwide TB epidemic. I hope you will join hands with me in this much needed endeavour. 


Patient Story:

A 44-year-old female- Ms. A lives in New Delhi with her husband and 3 children. Her husband being an alcoholic, she is the sole earning member of the family. She works as a household helper to support her family. Slowly her health started deteriorating and she could barely walk to work. There was no money even to buy food for her family. 

 In the meanwhile, OpASHA’s community provider reached her during routine Active Case Finding activity. Our provider then collected her sputum and took it for testing in the nearest facility. It was found to be positive for TB

Our Provider explained to her & her family that TB is fully curable, and that the treatment is completely free. She was offered detailed counselling using the eCounselling application. She was also explained about the precautions to be taken in order to prevent infecting her family members. All queries raised by her were resolved by the provider. Ms.A was completely relieved on finding out that the provider will come to her house on a daily basis to administer the TB medication. She was then started on treatment by registering on eCompliance.

Ms.A now takes her medicines regularly. She is very optimistic about being cured of TB and resuming her work soon.

 OpASHA’s Representation on National and International Platforms:

  • Our CEO attended a conference at Las Vegas, organized by Tableau Foundation. The discussion on use of data by NGOs practically started with Tableau's work with Operation ASHA.


  •  Operation ASHA’s President recently wrote a blog for The Hippocratic Post, a global blogging site featuring world -leading expert opinion on Health issues and medical breakthroughs. She highlighted 3 reasons why treating TB is important, apart from the usual ones, that of healing patients.…/3-other-reasons-why-trea…/


  • Operation ASHA won the SABERA Award, 2019. The illustrious Jury rated us as the top health care NGO of large size (Budget over Rs. 5 Crore pa). This has been possible because of our frontline workers, who spend 30 to 50 minutes, to counsel each patient and family. In a random allocation of patients, the adherence of those provided eCounselling went up by 9 percent, without any other intervention being used, ceteris paribus. This proves how patient centered interventions, which might seem simple, have massive impact. For this purpose, nine short videos on critical aspects of TB have been combined into an eCounselling application. The moment a patient is registered for treatment, the system makes it compulsory to provide eCounselling. At the beginning and end, as well as thrice in between at random, workers and patients have to give their fingerprint.This improves attention of both workers and patients towards counselling.
    We have no doubt that Operation ASHA is set to move the world towards TB eradication. ,


  • Operation ASHA’s Director Technology & Development,recently wrote a blog for Tableau Foundation, an international software company, headquarters in Washington USA. She has explained how Operation ASHA is improving the detection of TB in India in collaboration with Tableau Volunteers. Please read the full blog here:…/improving-tuberculosis-detection-…



  • Operation ASHA’s lifesaving work in TB was published in Agence France-Presse (AFP), an international news agency headquartered in Paris.



  • Operation ASHA, in collaboration with Qualcomm Wireless Reach, organized an event in New Delhi to disseminate the eCounselling technology. The Board of Operation ASHA, different donors from India & abroad, other dignitaries like state government officials working in the TB space attended the event.
Nov 13, 2019

Innovation- Key to Scaling Up


Mr. XYZ, a 32 year old man lives in Kumaharpura, Gwalior. There are 6 other members in his family, his wife, his parents, one younger sister and one elder brother with his wife. His father is an auto driver. He is a vegetable seller. Mr. XYZ got infected with TB about 1.5 years back and started his treatment from a government health facility. He continued the treatment for 2-3 months but when there was a little improvement in his health conditions, he started taking liquor and dropped the medicines in between. After few months his health conditions started deteriorating. This affected his livelihood as he could not go for his work of selling vegetables and his other daily works as well.

One day, our Provider, Mr. ABC, during his routine visit for Active Case Finding, visited Mr. XYZ’s community and identified him as symptomatic. Based on her symptoms, Mr. ABC asked him to get tested. Mr. XYZ refused and shared his past experience of swallowing so many medicines, but nothing worked. When Mr. ABC spoke to his family members he came to know that actually he could not completed his treatment and started taking liquor during the treatment. Our Provider somehow managed to convince him for getting tested. Her sputum sample was tested positive. He was detected with extreme level of pulmonary TB (3+). Although, he was detected with TB but still he was not ready to take medicines because of his past experience of swallowing so many medicines on daily basis.

Unfortunately, his wife left him and his family members were also not willing to live with him. Our Provider tried to convince him and his family and assured that if he would take medicines as per the guidance of our Provider, he will be definitely get cured. After a lot of convincing Mr. XYZ started his treatment with Operation ASHA. Our Provider registered him on eCompliance in 3rd week of September and counseled him along with his family members. During the counselling he asked a lot of questions. Our Provider gave answers of his each and every question which helped him to understand all the aspects of TB and its treatment. After undergoing video counselling, he felt very confident and relaxed and took his first dose with Operation ASHA. His family members were also satisfied and thanked to our provider for showing the informative videos and for his helping nature. They said that their decision of not living with him was wrong. Mr. XYZ said that he didn’t know so many things about TB which he came to know only after counselling and interacting with our Provider. He said happily that he would follow every suggestion of our Provider and will complete his treatment. He said to our provider, “I believe that with you I can get cured and can continue my work.”

Now it’s been around 2 months, he is taking the medicine properly. His health is improving and he is feeling better now.

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