The REACH Private Public Mix has been dynamically contributing to TB control by supporting private practitioners to actively identify, diagnose and treat TB patients in the private sector since 1998.
Our main focus has been on integrating and harnessing the synergies between private and public health sectors for TB control. This initiative, which started with 30 health care providers, has evolved into a sustainable model, where REACH acts as an intermediary to provide TB care services. The main stakeholders in the initiative are private practitioners, private hospitals, patients, RNTCP team, and community. Since 2006, we have been operating a scaled down PPM with low cost approach, as we did not receive any major funding except that from corporate and individuals.
Together we work for ensuring a continuum of care for TB patient and their families, where in they receive the following services.
- Quality diagnosis and treatment through doctors in private sector
- Individualized TB care package for patients
- Counselling on basic TB information
- Assessment of risk factors
- Treatment initiation
- Direct Observation of treatment at PPM centres
- Monitoring of TB treatment by Home visits
- Retrieving patients through proper action when lost to follow up on treatment
- Food Aid Support
- Information and Communication Materials on TB for patients and their family
- Access to TB Helpline for queries, etc.
PROJECT EQUIP- Enhanced use of Quality drugs and Utilization of Innovative diagnostics for TB management in Private Sector
To tackle the problem of Multi Drug Resistant TB (MDR TB) REACH has launched a new project EQUIP, under which we will be working closely with Chest Physicians, General Practitioners, Hospitals, Consultants, Patients, Community groups, and RNTCP to design a collaborative model for MDR-TB prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. REACH is working with Chennai Corporation and KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation through the support of Lilly Foundation and United Way Worldwide.
Goal of Project EQUIP
- To develop an effective and replicable model for public-private partnership in diagnosing, notifying, and ensuring early access to care for people with drug resistance tuberculosis.
- To reduce the time taken to diagnose MDR-TB by giving access to improved diagnostic tools.
- To ensure a reliable supply of quality drugs and treatment support for TB patients.
Through Project EQUIP the patients will receive the following support-
- Timely quality TB diagnosis by free GeneXpert testing
- Timely quality assured TB drugs (as recommended under STCI)
- Free counselling services by REACH team
- Regular follow up assistance for drug adherence
- Nutritional Support
These services are provided by a dedicated team of REACH field officers who are trained in all aspects of TB care and work closely with private doctors to ensure holistic care for the TB patients belonging to the vulnerable sections of society.
Project EQUIP organized focus group discussions with Private Practitioners, Chest Physicians, patients taking TB treatment privately, and patients taking DOTS TB treatment at the Government and PPM’s centres in addition to several one to one interactions with doctors to gather information on various aspects of TB care services developing the strategy for private practitioners’ engagement.
A Technical Advisory Group consisting of key partners from private health sector and public TB program was formed to increase ownership of the EQUIP initiative and to provide guidance and support on working effectively with private sector for TB Control.
Sensitization Workshops and one to one meetings with TB experts and Private Practitioners to sensitize them on Project EQUIP were done. The workshops focused on sensitizing doctors to the standards of TB care in India (STCI), Notification of TB cases from private sector and Contact Tracing and Chemoprophylaxis for children.
There was collaboration with Dr.Ganesan’s Hi Tech Laboratories for providing services of GeneXpert and X-rays through their chain of Labs in Central and South Chennai. Sputum Transportation and collection were facilitated. X-ray and Gene Xpert results were provided to the patients through Project EQUIP based on coupons. Thus Quality diagnosis was provided for patients in private sector.
Provision of Daily treatment with standard TB drugs has been initiated through Project EQUIP for the Private Practitioners who recommend it for their patients.
Private Hospitals are being identified and approached for integrating EQUIP- TB care centres in their premises. These centres help provide guidance and support to TB patients and ensure monitoring support for TB treatment.
The process of patient care in EQUIP was initiated, referrals tracked and patients initiated on TB treatment. Continuous Monitoring was undertaken for all patients after obtaining their consent. The entire process has been systematically documented.