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Tuberculosis and Visual Culture: Part 2

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Here’s more posters, that were used across America to increase awareness on TB.  This one below is about the proper usage of TB drugs and the need to finish the course of drugs and eat properly.

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This one below is a warning – that healthy looks may hide tuberculosis, anyone with low and compromised immunity is at the risk of TB.

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This last one illustrates how children are at the risk of TB if they share space with someone who has active pulmonary TB.

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Tuberculosis and visual culture

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Found an interesting collection of American posters on TB awareness. The posters are all dated between 1920 and 1920, and get basic, but important messages on TB across. Here’s the first two, watch out for more! Both of these stress on the importance of cough hygiene.

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My thoughts on the REACH Team Day

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Having planned the event with my colleagues in October 2012, I was happy Team Day finally happened on 10.01.2013. The purpose behind the event was to enable all members of the organization to come together and have a sense of being a part of a larger group.

Dr.Ramya addressed the gathering for the first time after taking charge as Executive Director on a full time basis. She energized and enthused everyone to commit themselves to the challenges of Public Health. I was impressed by the story of The Pencil…

This was followed by presentations on the work done at REACH through the different projects.

I noticed that all the Field Officers who were involved in patient care and intensive field work (PPM staff) felt great pride in sharing their achievements accompanied with big smiles spread across their faces. It was indeed an occasion for them to pat their backs and be happy.

“7 new private practitioners joined the PP network in my zone”

“13 patients referred 20 cases to me of whom I started 7 on treatment”

“66 programs done in the last year sensitizing more than 1000 people”

“11 cases were identified following a program in an area.”

“I was happy to ensure the completion of 2 patients as they were most challenging”

“716 house visits were made totally last year in the course of my monitoring’

“Providing DOTS to 39 cases totally last year”

“Initiated 99 cases on treatment”

“Food Security research study taking shape after a long process”

“95 calls on the helpline last year”

These numbers may be small, but the amount of work that each staff puts in to achieve them is indeed extraordinary.

I enjoyed the experiences this day brought me and in particular the REACH tree, which will now be put up as a reminder in the office of the work which still continues to be done in the society we live.

I and all of you in the REACH team… yes we do make a great team… let’s keep ourselves going as long as we can…

Sheela Augustine

 

 

Battling the bottle and TB meningitis

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Just as his battle with alcoholism was about to end, V Radhakrishnan found himself faced with another problem – TB meningitis, a condition that affects the brain and causes incoherence and confusion.

Mr V Radhakrishnan, picture by: Sai Dinakar

Mr V Radhakrishnan, Pic: Sai Dinakar

A goldsmith by profession, he arrived in Chennai about two decades ago and earned himself a good reputation at the jewelry shop he worked at, as a dedicated goldsmith with a keen eye for detail. But home was a different story – his alcoholism and violent, erratic drunken behavior drove his wife and two sons out of the house. They now live separately.

When he was diagnosed with TB meningitis last year, his employer stood by him through the clinical tests, helped him out of alcoholism, provided him room to stay in the jewelry store itself and now acts as his DOTS provider. Today, Radhakrishnan is on the road to recovery. For all of that, Radhakrishnan is immensely grateful to his employer.

But battling TB got Radhakrishnan re-evaluating his life. He grew remorseful of the way he had treated his family and wants to make amends with them – but right now, that doesn’t look positive. His wife, who initially wrote off his incoherent attempts to re-connect with them as drunken episodes, does not want to live with him, even after she was informed of his medical condition.

V Radhakrishnan, for his part, is now willing to be a DOTS provider to other patients.

Story: Sai Dinakar, Social Worker, REACH

TB Free Future?

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Zero TB might seem an unrealistic dream to some who are in the field of TB control, but we can all agree that little steps contribute towards this bigger dream. And for those of us working in the field, the success we see with the TB patients we act as caregivers to, give us hope that one day we can win the battle against TB. Until World TB Day (March 24), through a series on this blog, we bring you the voices of or DOTS providers, TB survivors and those who go the extra mile in the battle against Tuberculosis.