World Vision India’s Community Based Tuberculosis Prevention and Care Project Amplify Efforts to End TB in Andhra Pradesh by 2025

Vijayawada  : In the Districts of Guntur and Krishna, World Vision India’s Focused Approach towards Childhood Tuberculosis (FACT) Project works in a multi-pronged manner to enhance Active Case Finding (ACF), ensure contact treatment and treatment adherence and create awareness about the disease – Tuberculosis (TB). As part of this project, more than four lakh people have been screened through Active Case Finding campaigns in the past 2 years.

Speaking about TB initiatives, Dr. Reeti Tiwari Dass, Director of Health, World Vision India said, “This World Health Day reminds us that urgent actions are needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and foster a movement to create societies focused on well-being. Whether it is COVID-19 or Tuberculosis (TB), public health crisis continues to be fragile exposing inequalities and also revealing the urgency with which we need to respond. As we collaborate with the Government and engage in averting future pandemics, we must not forget existing global pandemics like TB and ensure that we must serve the most vulnerable”.

17-year-old Anusha recognized a growing lump on her neck. She lives in a small tenement with her parents in one of the slums in Guntur. Couple of years before Anusha’s father, a daily labourer, was diagnosed for TB and he was cured completely. Since then, the entire community has been receiving communication on the symptoms and treatment for TB through regular awareness campaigns by FACT project. Because of these awareness programs, Anusha’s mother approached one of the FACT project volunteer and expressed her concern about Anusha’s growing lump. Anusha was immediately guided for Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) test for TB in the Government Hospital. She tested positive for TB and was put on Directly Observed Therapy Short Course (DOTS). During the follow-up visits, she continued to grow weaker despite taking DOTS regularly and availing the benefits from Nikshay Poshan Yojana. The reason was her poor diet as her poor parents could not afford even the basic amenities due to the pandemic related job losses. World Vision India step in to provide additional nutritional support from January 2022 onwards. This helped her to recover faster and today she is much better.

 

For the past 2 years, since the onset of COVID 19, The FACT project has supported 1714 needy TB patients in the districts of Guntur and Krishna with protein rich dry food materials. Although the government provides INR 500 towards nutrition support through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, many poor TB patients and their families have a greater need. Collaborating with the state and district National Tuberculosis Elimination Program units, World Vision India’s FACT project is filling the gap and extending support in the districts of Guntur and Krishna. FACT project’s nutrition support is given for 6 months to drug sensitive patients and for 24 months for drug resistant TB patients. Each nutrition kit consists of Toor dal, Green gram, Chana Dal, Ragi flour, Groundnut, Jaggery, Ground nut oil, Multigrain Atta, seedless Dates and Til laddu.

 

“For many people diagnosed with TB the time for complete recovery can be long, leaving them undernourished even after the completion of the TB treatment course. It becomes therefore pertinent to provide proper nutritional care for those who are undernourished so as to reduce future health risks”, said Dr. Anna Motupali, Program Manager- FACT Project, World Vision India. She further added, “corporates should step forward and support Civil Societies to provide nutrition to TB patients. Because, nutrition support can help them, especially children- who will be able to develop stronger immunity”.

 

World Vision India’s FACT project, started in September 2016 in Andhra Pradesh, revolves around three key components: advocacy to ensure access to quality childhood TB prevention and treatment services; increasing awareness among children, families and their communities, and association with Community Health Workers for improved childhood TB control strategies. The Project works in alignment with National Tuberculosis Elimination Program (NTEP) and engages with qualified practitioners to increase access to TB diagnosis and treatment services for the communities. The healthcare providers are sensitised and equipped regarding screening of TB in children, improving TB case detection and support timely initiation of the appropriate treatment.

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