Read about these people and their role in the fight against TB.
Sundar Rajis a fruit vendor on State Bank Street close to the REACH office in Chennai. When he was diagnosed with TB four years ago, he couldn’t accept the diagnosis initially. After two weeks of treatment, he stopped medication. He fell ill again and had to be admitted for a few days. On discharge he approached REACH and took DOTS treatment, and had a full recovery.
As he sells bananas, he is a TB activist in his own small way -when he notices a person with a cough he warns them that it could be TB and advices them to get tested.
Meenatchiis a 35-year-old Self Help Group leader residing at Thiruvotiyur in Chennai. During the REACH USAID project period she learnt all about TB. Ever since she has been actively and passionately involved in the cause. She identifies and refers symptomatics for diagnosis and treatment and has been a DOTS provider for several patients. When she finds a patient unable to afford transport or tests costs, she pays for them and ensures that they don’t drop out due to financial reasons.
Josephis but one of the many dedicated employees of REACH. He started his career in 2002 and has come a long way to being a District Coordinator today. He has vast experience in counseling TB patients as well as in organising programmes in the community. He uses his singing and acting talents effectively for the TB cause. Joseph has an astounding passion for the work that he does and believes that a TB-free-world is possible.
Gangammais a 42-year-old florist who resides at Tondiarpet in Chennai. She sells jasmine flowers to earn a living on the pavement of a busy road. Six years ago, her then 15-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Sputum positive TB. Gangamma was very supportive and assisted her daughter regularly in her treatment at the REACH DOTS centre at Rainy Hospital. Her daughter made a full recovery, and since then, Gangamma has been spreading awareness about TB. When her fellow florist developed symptoms of TB, she ensured that he got diagnosed. Eventually, she became his DOTS provider and made sure he was cured with her constant care and support.
Meganathanis a cured patient who went on to become a beacon of light for the villagers in SadayanKuppam on the outskirts of Chennai. He has brought around 30 to 40 people with TB symptoms to the REACH DOTS center in Sugam Hospital. After diagnosis and if they areconfirmed with TB, he becomes their DOTS provider and continuously motivates them to take medicines regularly. He is very active in talking about TB and does not hesitate to admit that he too was a TB patient once. Meganathan has initiated and organized several TB awareness programs in his area.