TB Call to Action Project launched in Bihar

The Call to Action project was launched in Bodhgaya, Bihar on 29 September 2016 during the consultation on introduction to the universal access of TB daily regimen.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Shashi Bhushan Kumar, Mission Director (National Health Mission), Bihar, said, “The launch of the Call to Action project by REACH will bring together the various stakeholders, integral to this fight, and broaden the conversation around this disease at the state level. The RNTCP was implemented throughout Bihar in the year 2006, in which intermittent (thrice a week) regimen was employed for treatment of drug-sensitive TB. This intermittent short-course chemotherapy regimen proved to be an effective and operationally feasible way of treatment under programmatic settings. But a significant proportion of TB patients managed by other sectors (private practitioners, NGOs, corporates, etc.,) are being treated on daily regimen. To bring parity in management of TB patients across all sectors and to address the threat of emergence of drug-resistant TB due to non-standard treatment practices, the Government of India has decided to introduce daily regimen for treatment of drug-sensitive TB under RNTCP. Bihar is one of the five states where daily regimen will be implemented initially.”

The consultative meeting was presided over by Dr Sunil D Khaparde, Deputy Director General (TB), Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Khaparde said, “We want to reduce mortality and prevalence to such an extent that TB will not be such a major health issue anymore.  I really appreciate this initiative, Call to Action, which will sensitize the various stakeholders — advocates, corporates, civil societies, media, parliamentarians, etc. I hope REACH will reach the vulnerable populations and the ‘missing million’”.

The meeting saw participation from various stakeholders, including representatives from the Central TB Division, the State TB Office, Bihar, as well as civil society leaders active in the fight against TB in the state.

Photo story series ‘Voices of TB Heroes’ essays lives of TB survivors

It is a widely known fact that despite being curable, Tuberculosis kills over 1000 people every day in India – the country which bears the highest burden of the disease. 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.

But TB is not just about numbers; it is about the struggles, battles, and victories of those affected by TB. In our latest initiative – a series called ‘Voices of TB Heroes’, we have tried to document the lives of those affected most by TB including people who are on treatment as well as TB survivors. All photographs and stories are being shared after obtaining full consent and we are very grateful to all those who agreed to share their stories.

We have also tried to capture the stories of our TB heroes, who have volunteered to be a part of the fight against TB and have prioritized communities over their personal interests in an effort to be the change.

You can check out the entire series on our blog here.