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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.

Aug 22, 2019

Thank you to all our donors and well-wishers

Life is challenging. The path we have chosen is fraught with difficulties. But we have succeeded against odds. Operation Asha is going from strength to strength. And we have to thank you for your support, good wishes and blessings.

 In Cambodia, our innovation garners government support

We developed 24 ecounselling videos to support patients and their families in their path to recovery. These are animation videos which cover all aspects of Tuberculosis (TB), how does it happen, how to prevent it from spreading, why adherence is important and so on. These videos also address issues of stigma and discrimination. Early this year, these videos were translated in Khmer and inaugurated in Phnom Penh in a glittering function attended by senior government officials, the Indian Ambassador, representatives of hospitals and NGOs, and the media. The Director of the National TB Control Programme of Cambodia formally inaugurated the videos and gave a resounding speech that met with applause and cheers and foot thumping appreciation. He went on to say that he desires every health worker in the Government and from every hospital to use these videos to counsel the patient and the family is in a comprehensive manner.

The Director also inaugurated Knight Wolf, the educational comic book created with support from our donors & well-wishers. The comic book generated a lot of excitement both amongst children who had TB and also children of TB patients. Thousands of comic books are being printed and distributed to children in Cambodia.

  We set our foot in Zambia

Following the visit of a 3 member team from Zambia, we have entered into collaboration with the local NGO for implementation of our technology and the entire model. The National TB Program in Zambia has also offered full support. This will help us reach many more TB patients in Africa

 Media Mentions

  • Our technology - 'eCompliance Suite' has been featured in Siemens Stiftung's Empowering People Network! They write about how it provides end to end TB services like detection, counselling and adherence to the treatment protocol. However, it is not limited to TB. It has been used by pharmaceutical company Baxter to track adherence to the treatment protocol of haemophilia. It has been used by Columbia University in Telangana to identify chronic absentees and thus improve school attendance via follow-ups. It has also been used by the Karnataka government to provide nutritional packets to pregnant women. Its possibilities for customization are limitless.


  • Our President, Dr Shelly Batra, was invited to Geneva to showcase our work during the World Health Assembly. This was during a breakfast session organized by USAID and General Electric. Dr Batra demonstrated how we extensively use technology to improve results and outcomes in tuberculosis. She showcased eCounselling, the animation videos that we use to deliver vital information on all aspects of TB, and eCompliance, the world famous biometric technology to monitor every dose taken and prevent Drug Resistant TB. Our work generated a lot of interest among Delegates from across the world, including Researchers, NGOs, Corporates, and even high level Government Officials.


  • Our CEO, Mr Sandeep Ahuja, was invited to represent Operation ASHA at a networking workshop by Siemens Foundation in Cairo, Egypt.


  • Our President Dr Shelly Batra was recently in Lavaur, France. She was invited as a speaker at the 2019 Global South eHealth Observatory Conference, organised by Fondation Pierre Fabre. This year the focus of the conference was on "Capacity Building & Data Sharing for Efficient and Sustainable e-Health". Dr Batra explained that how Operation ASHA's unique model of technology provides real time accurate data to monitor the day to day work and calculate the results efficiently. This makes us very cost effective, helps us to serve the poorest of the poor, save thousands of lives and thus sustainable.


Patient Story

A 19 year old young girl lives in Chauhan Colony, Bhiwandi. There are three other members in her family, her parents and one elder brother. Her father is a rickshaw puller. She is pursuing her B.A. second year. She got infected with TB and started her treatment from a private clinic. She continued the treatment for five months but there was no improvement in her health condition. This affected her studies as she could not attend her college and her other daily work as well.

One day, our Provider- during her routine visit for Active Case Finding, visited this girl's community and identified her as symptomatic. Based on her symptoms, the provider asked the girl to get tested. She refused and shared her past experience of getting so many tests done, swallowing so many medicines, but nothing worked. Our Provider somehow managed to convince her for getting tested. Her sputum sample was tested negative but TB was diagnosed through x-ray. The test result was positive and she was detected with pulmonary negative TB. Although, she was detected with TB but still she was not ready to take medicines because of her past experience.

Our Provider tried to convince her and assured her that if she would take medicines as per the guidance of our Provider, she will be definitely get cured. This young girl soon started her treatment with Operation ASHA. Our Provider registered her on eCompliance in May and counseled her along with her family members. During the counselling she asked a lot of questions. Our Provider gave answers of each and every question which helped her to understand all the aspects of TB and its treatment. After undergoing video counselling, she felt very confident and relaxed and took her first dose with Operation ASHA. She said that she didn’t know so many things about TB which she came to know only after counselling and interacting with our Provider. She confirmed that she would follow every suggestion of our Provider and will complete her treatment. She said, “I believe that with you I can get cured and can continue my studies.”

Now it’s been around 3 months, she is taking the medicine properly. Her health is improving and she is feeling better now. She has started going to her college to complete her studies. She wants to become a teacher.

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