Health
 India
Project #15363

Join Hands- Change Lives of 500 Indian TB Patients

by REACH (Resource Group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health)
Educating students on importance of cough hygeine
Educating students on importance of cough hygeine

Dear Donors,

Greetings and Wishes from REACH for a happy and healthy New Year 2016 to all of you. As we begin this year, we hope that you will share our concern for TB control in India. We need to work together to create TB free communities. Thank you for the interest you have taken in our work.

About 750 people still continue to die each day in India due to TB. TB spreads through the air we breathe. We at REACH work very closely with TB patients to assist them with their treatment and engage in activities that supports them. Besides we also believe in generating awareness about TB to the public.

Last year we embarked on a community health campaign on safe and hygienic cough practices. The COUGH HYGIENE CAMPAIGN was inaugurated on the occasion of World TB Day. The main focus was to educate school children and communities on the importance of adopting safe and clean cough practices.

As part of the campaign, during the following months, we had organized several programs for children and communities. These programmes highlighted the connection between hygienic cough practices and prevention of diseases such as TB.

Through interactive sessions with school students and the community members and demonstrations, proper and hygienic cough practices were discussed. Illustrations and flip charts were also used to convey these messages.  Students and the community members clarified their doubts regarding cough practices and TB.

On completion of the programme an oath was taken to encourage people to follow the practice of cough hygiene. Posters were stuck to reinforce the message in the communities and schools.

We plan to continue with this campaign, this year as well. So far we have done around 32 programmes at schools and around 18 programmes at the community level. 

Doctors, pharmacists and patients have also involved themselves by disseminating information on the importance of following the practice of cough hygiene.

 An easy and simple practice such as this can prove very effective in combating the spread of TB.

We at REACH thank you all for your donations and support which has been instrumental in helping us do our work.

We request each one of you to cough with care at all times and encourage others to follow the same!

Please do continue to engage with us this year as well.

We wish you all good health and a prosperous 2016.

 

Flip Charts- to explain about cough hygeine
Flip Charts- to explain about cough hygeine
Banner- images of safe cough hygiene practices
Banner- images of safe cough hygiene practices
Cough with care
Cough with care' program at the community level
Students - Always Cough the right way
Students - Always Cough the right way
Skit by students on cough hygiene
Skit by students on cough hygiene
Faheena- a loving mother-in-law to patient
Faheena- a loving mother-in-law to patient

Dear Donors,

Greetings from REACH! 

Below is an example of how your donations are helping us to support people with TB. We share this story of Faheena and Hasima and how they as a family are coping with TB. 

“My son does not know that his wife has TB.” says Faheena (name changed to protect identity), the sixty year old mother-in-law of Hasima (name changed to protect identity) who was diagnosed with pulmonary TB a few months back. “Hasima had lost a lot of weight and she could barely bring herself to speak a few words. When we visited the doctor and did the tests, we knew it was Tuberculosis.” One of the many things Hasima worried about when she realized she had TB was the reaction of her family, particularly her husband, and other community members. She lived in fear of being stigmatized and kept away from her children. Her only constant companion throughout all of this was her mother-in-law, Faheena. “Hasima was devastated when she started thinking about how my son would react. We decided we would not tell anybody about this. My son kept asking me the reason behind Hasima’s weak condition and I lied to him about it. Hasima has been like a daughter to me and I only did what a mother would, to protect her child.”

 Joseph, the REACH staff working on the case was touched by the affection and care that Faheena showed. “Faheena ensures that Hasima takes her medicines regularly and also provides her with the necessary nutrition. In three months, Hasima has shown great progress.” says Joseph.

Coming from a community where there is a high level of social stigma surrounding TB, the two of them found solace in each other’s words and company. “Right from the beginning, I kept telling Hasima to stay strong and hopeful. Her children and family need her to be there for them. She would also comfort me, tell me not to worry and that she would take her medicines regularly and everything will be alright soon and by God’s grace, things are looking very hopeful.”

Hasima and Faheena found commiseration in each other and managed to stay resilient but hope still remains an illusion to many others, who continue to remain as silent victims of the social stigma surrounding TB.

The REACH initiative CHANGE has been providing counseling and referral support for treatment of patients like Hasina. In 2015 we have so far provided referral support to about 700 patients with symptoms of TB and identified 260 as TB patients. We provide this support through the wide network of private practitioners and private hospitals in Chennai.The role of counselors like Joseph becomes important in TB, due to the stigma attached to it. They help people take decisions that are supportive for TB patients.

 Hasima has been gifted to have a good Mother-in-law like Faheena. Truly they share an eternal bond with one another. May all of us have a heart and spirit like Faheena!

Our sincere thanks to donors like you who make it possible for us to extend TB care services for benefit of TB patients.

Mr.Joseph.S- counsels TB patients
Mr.Joseph.S- counsels TB patients
Pharmacist providing DOTS to Kumar
Pharmacist providing DOTS to Kumar

“I spat out blood” said Kumar*, with a squinted up face, “I was terribly weak” he added.

A cab driver by profession, Kumar’s trouble with his health started two years back. Kumar had been suffering from TB since 2013. Having met a doctor at a private hospital, he was put on treatment. But, due to non-affordability of medicines and erratic work schedule he was not very consistent in taking his medicines. He also quit his job, due to deteriorating health and the suffering continued.

Unable to cope up with the cough and tiredness, Kumar visited a pharmacy. The pharmacist referred him to our PPM Centre at Hindu Welfare Centre.  After initial assessment he was put on DOTS treatment. His health improved gradually and the symptoms disappeared. He realized his mistake for not continuing the treatment.“My nonchalant behavior has caused a lot of misery. I should have continued the treatment initially”

Today Kumar has started working again and is very keen on addressing TB patients and sharing his story.

Now a happy man, Kumar said “I have got a second chance. I am healthy now”.  

 Kumar and us at REACH, thank you for your generous contributions towards patient care and support.  All our stakeholders from doctors, private hospitals, government officials, pharmacists and volunteers share the responsibility of guiding TB patients towards diagnosis and treatment.

Every patient that is cured brings us happiness beyond any measure. This is a shared commitment from all our stakeholders participating in the PPM model of REACH in Chennai.

Kumar is one among the 213 TB patients, identified, diagnosed and on treatment, from January to June, 2015. 

A special thanks to all of our donors, for having gifted a second chance for life to all our patients.

* - name changed to protect identity.

Amulu and Deena
Amulu and Deena

 

Dear Donors,

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!

Dear Donors,

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

  • Counseling and Referral Services were provided to 954 people accessing REACH TB care centres.
  • We identified 422 TB patients and initiated them on DOTS treatment.
  • TB Helpline provided information to 242 people on their queries about TB, diagnosis and treatment.
  • Ancillary care was provided to 4 patients who were provided medicines required for side effects, X-rays, and transport.
  • Nutritional food support was offered to 184 patients for the 6-8 months of their treatment.
  • About 40 children of poor TB patients’ were provided bags, pencil boxes, note books, pencil, eraser, scale, etc.
  • We paid the fees of one semester for an MDR patient’s son.

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!

TB awarness at bus shelters
TB awarness at bus shelters
De-addiction & Nutrition Programs for TB patients
De-addiction & Nutrition Programs for TB patients
Support for an MDR TB patient
Support for an MDR TB patient's son's education
Nutritional support to a TB patient
Nutritional support to a TB patient

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Project Leader:
Sheela Auguesteen
Program Manager
Chennai, Tamil Nadu India
$540 raised of $30,000 goal
 
9 donations
$29,460 to go
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