REACH (Resource Group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health)

Mission: To work for a TB free society. Goals: - To combat the threat of TB involving all sections of the community - To ensure that the guidelines of the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program of the Government of India (RNTCP) is accessible to private medical practitioners who cater to large section of the population - To increase public awareness of TB - To act as a liaising body between the different deliverers of health care, both governmental and non-governmental
Feb 27, 2017

Fighting the odds against TB

Fighting the odds against TB

I remember sapna*, (name changed) as a 14 year old girl, when she came to REACH office to obtain a second opinion from a TB consultant on her health condition. She was very lean; her hair neatly tied into pigtails with ribbons.  Her memory was sharp, as she was able to give an account on her symptoms, and initial treatments taken, more clearly than her father, a recovered TB patient. Within a few days, a GeneXpert test was done and being Rifampcin Resistant, she was found to be suffering from MDR TB at a tertiary hospital for MDR TB care.

The diagnosis came as a shock to sapna , due to appear for her public examinations, an important school year for her.  She had a lot of support from her friends, teachers and school principal, who pitched in to help her with studies and provided nutritional support. Through she was young, she herself took care to sit keeping  a little distance from her other classmates, wore a mask at all times as she knew that she should not infect someone else.  In spite of being sick, she never missed going to school.

During the initial treatment, the health staff had made a visit to her school and disclosed her condition to the teachers. This made sapna feel very stigmatized and she tried to commit suicide in a bid to end her life. This was informed to the District TB Officer, who took special efforts to meet sapna. She counseled and motivated her to continue treatment along with her studies.

Her home environment was a bit hard and complex, as there were frequent quarrels between her parents, which did not allow them to care enough for Sapna.
Her father was also diagnosed to have MDR-TB and was started on treatment. He has earlier taken irregular treatment as he was an alcoholic. Hence I made arrangements from the EQUIP initiative to support Sapna and provide some extra nutrition through a nearby hotel, where she could get food. She was reimbursed the costs incurred, while taking the Kanamycin injections from the private providers nearer her home. I visited her every 3 weeks to check on her and keep her morale high. She shared some of her fears with me as she felt that the disease had kept her away from sports, friends, and studies.

Today I came to know that she has completed the first phase in her MDR treatment and gained 15 kg from her initial weight of just 30 kg. The District TB Officer was very happy and mentioned that she must become bold, share her story with others, for working towards a TB free world. She comes with a beautiful smile and a confident stride telling me she is going to do all that is required to fight the odds in her life.

I hope she recovers completely and that her experience of fighting TB will make her a strong woman.

Your donations are making it possible for us to reach out to patients such as sapna. Thank you for making TB control an important part of your life. Its our commitment to make this world a healthier place for people to live.

Project EQUIP-Enhanced use of Quality drugs and Utilization of Innovative diagnostics for TB management in Private provides support for private practitioners in diagnosing drug sensitive and drug resistance TB patients. The aim is to ensure quality access for patients towards TB care. So far about 1500 referrals have been received for GeneXpert diagnostics from the private sector which helps to help detect Rifampicin resistant patientsand guide them onto MDR-DOTS Plus treatment regimen.

 

Dec 1, 2016

TB AND HIV TOGETHER- MY LIFE GOES ON

I love to working in my fields
I love to working in my fields

Dear Donors,

Greetings from REACH! We thank you for your support of our organisation. It is because of your support that REACH is able to work closely with the community in providing TB care for patients such as Thirupal, who has shared his expereince of life with TB and HIV. 

My name is Thirupal and i work as a farmer and truck driver in one of the districts in Tamil Nadu, India. 

I had TB symptoms for the first time four years ago when I started coughing incessantly, lost my appetite and was exhausted all the time. I went to see a government doctor in his private clinic, who initially gave me regular medication. But when there was no improvement in my condition, I was sent for an X-Ray. The doctor referred me to a primary healthcare center after I was diagnosed with TB. I wasn’t scared at all because my doctor assured me that I could be cured. I took medicines regularly for six months and was cured but after three months of getting cured, I had a relapse. At this time I also had a test for HIV and was declared positive.

I had TB and HIV at the same time and I was alarmed when I lost 50 kgs of weight and weighed only 25 kgs. I went to the hospital to take TB medicines every day but I was vomiting continuously and not getting better. I had to change hospitals and this hospital is far from my house. I used to go there every day for four months. After a culture test, I was referred to TB hospital in Tambaram Sanatorium, which is 80 kilometers from my home. I got admitted in the hospital for two months. After conducting several tests, they found out that I had MDR-TB, post which I started treatment in my home town and used to go there daily for one year. I got 144 injections during that time and after that I took tablets for another year.

During my treatment, I came in touch with an NGO situated in  the district. Without them, I would not have had the courage or will to complete my treatment. I had quit working during the time period and my wife was managing the household expenses but that wasn’t enough. The NGO provided us with nutritional support every month, new bedsheets and towels. They also helped us get pension from a government scheme and supported my daughter with school fees and supplies. They provided me with moral and psychological support. I would call them whenever I needed counselling. Moreover, my wife was my biggest strength during the most difficult days of my sickness.

I have been cured of TB and am relieved and happy. I work as before but only for half a day. I drive an auto, and work in the fields. I am taking my HIV treatment and hope to lead a normal life.” – Thirupal

A big thank you to all our donors who make this possible.

This story is part of our series called ‘Voices of TB Heroes’ that features TB survivors and community volunteers who’ve impacted the lives of those affected by TB.

 

Nov 25, 2016

Voices of TB Heroes-3

Someone did for me, so I do it for others
Someone did for me, so I do it for others

Dear Donors,

Greetings !

We are bringing to you a series of stories called‘Voices of TB Heroes’ that features TB survivors and community volunteers who’ve impacted the lives of those affected by TB. According to the Global TB Report for 2016 that was released last month, India continues to bear the world’s highest burden of TB, with 2.8 million people affected by the disease last year. Despite being curable, TB kills over 1000 people every day in India.

At the heart of India’s battle against TB are those directly affected by the disease. It is their stories that we need to hear, their struggles and battles we need to support and their victories we must celebrate.

This story tells us that anyone can support TB Control just like Vijayarani.. We at REACH would like to thank Vijayrani and donors like yourself who make this a reality, enabling us to take TB control to the grassroots.

 

“Someone close to me was diagnosed with Tuberculosis in 2013 and I used to take them to CSI Rainy DOTS Centre for treatment. At around the same time in 2013, I was introduced to Shanthi, who was working with REACH, when she had come for an awareness program in our locality. I became very interested in the program and started referring anyone who had symptoms of TB to REACH. Due to my relative’s illness, I became aware of DOTS treatment and thought of becoming a provider in my area.

Today, I am a DOTS provider for six patients. I go to the patients’ houses and make sure that they take their medicines on time.

Somebody did it for me, so it is my duty to do it for others. People should be healthy and be well taken care of. Sadly, there aren’t many people to take care of others.

As a Self Help Group leader, "I have always looked out for ways to support people in my community. I also organize community awareness drives. A lot of times, people are not interested in such programs but I push them to attend the events. It doesn’t take much time to care for others but it ensures their good health and well-being, which gives me a lot of contentment.” – 

Vijayrani, Community Volunteer

Ms Vijayrani is an SHG leader in Tsunami Quarters, North Chennai. She is a Self Help Group leader in her community and supporting the work of REACH by identifying symptomatic and referring them for TB care.

 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $25
    (USD)
    give
  • $50
    (USD)
    give
  • $100
    (USD)
    give
  • $150
    (USD)
    give
  • $200
    (USD)
    give
  • $250
    (USD)
    give
  • $500
    (USD)
    give
  • $25
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $50
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $100
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $150
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $200
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $250
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $500
    each month

    (USD)
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.