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Timely intervention saves a life!

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70 year old Govindasamy would never forget 2014. A resident of North Chennai, he was admitted in Kalyani Hospital in June 2014, for breathing problems. Weak and tired he barely managed to sit upright. Tests confirmed that he was suffering from pulmonary TB.

Bed-ridden, his family members were worried about his deteriorating health. But, timely intervention by our staff brought hope for Govindasamay’s family. Our staff visited him thrice during the first two months of his treatment.  It was a herculean task for our staff to initiate the treatment as Govindasamy needed constant encouragement and counseling. His daughter was his DOT provider, who ensured her father took his medicines regularly.

His health improved from the third month and started walking. We also provided rice and dal so that he could eat nutritious food. His family members also played a key role in helping him recover. After completing his treatment, Govindasamy is now a happy man!

For him our staff Shanti is goddess “Jagadeshwari” who saved his life.

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A Passionate Volunteer…

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Mr SaravananIt has been a year since Saravanan started as a volunteer with REACH. After attending a meeting organized by REACH, Saravanan understood the burning problem of TB in our country. His curiosity was piqued and after repeated interaction with our staff he decided to step in and do his bit to help patients.

“After attending a meeting organized by REACH, I realized that despite TB being curable many were dying”.  Says Saravanan

Saravanan, hails from a middle class family. Working in an NGO he divides time between from being a treasurer at his NGO and a REACH volunteer.

His work at the Teynampet Corporation Clinic begins at 9:30 am every alternate day. Collecting patients’ sputum, Saravanan reaches Kodambakkam DMC (Designated Microscopy Centre) where they get tested. He spends half a day at the Teynampet centre educating people about TB.  He also collects the reports and informs the patients. In a month he collects 50 samples for testing.

Apart from this, he talks to patients who visit the corporation clinic and inquires if they have any symptoms of TB. Since there is no counseling at the centre; he motivates TB patients and reinforces the need to complete the treatment. His commitment to save lives pushes him to do more every day.  He has so far helped more than 40 lives by timely intervention.

“I want to do more and through our NGO we want to provide nutritional support to poor TB patients”. Says Saravanan who continues to be a part of our fight against TB.

We appreciate Saravanan for his efforts and commitment.

 

Path to Recovery…

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“I thought I would die” said Amulu. Harking back to her treatment days, Amulu, a house-help tells us her battle and triumph over tuberculosis.

Hailing from Washermapet( North Chennai), Amulu’s life turned topsy-turvy in September 2013 when she fell sick. Weakened by the symptoms of tuberculosis Amulu’s family took her to several temples thinking she was possessed by a demon.

After suffering for four months she consulted a doctor at REACH’s PPM centre who in turn referred to our PPM staff in CSI Rainy hospital. Urging her to get a sputum test our staff told Amulu that she has tuberculosis. Devastated, she could not believe that she had TB. Reminded of her father who died of TB, she thought death was not far away.

The next task for Amulu was to get treated and be counseled to ensure she recoverd from TB. With continuous counseling and home visits Amulu’s treatment began in January 2014.

“Among all the patients I have interacted, Amulu was a tough one. I visited her home several times and counseled her frequently” says Deena, our PPM staff.

Initially it was difficult for Amulu to follow the treatment regimen. Her neighbour was her DOT provider, who along with Deena ensured Amulu never skipped taking her medicines. With many side effects, Amulu struggled for the first two months. After the second month, a sputum negative result brought a cheer on her face. To ensure the medicine adherence was the maximum, we offered nutrition support by providing dal and rice. She also gained weight gradually, which instilled more confidence in her.

With the support of her family, our staff and the DOT provider Amulu  has successfully completed her treatment. Now, Amulu has gone back to be a house-help. A healthy Amulu says “I am so thankful to REACH and God for treating me on time”.