Patience and Perseverance

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I have counseled several patients, but Mr. Velu* was tough to handle. When I met him for the first time, the 76-year old man was bed-ridden at the Chennai Corporation hospital. He took TB medicines for a week and got discharged. We had asked him to continue his medicines, but he did not bother to come back and continue his treatment.

So, I visited him at his home in Vyasarpadi. He had stretched himself on the ground and on seeing me; he got angry and said he will not take the medicines as it made him drowsy. He rambled for over ten minutes, complaining about his health and how his normal life was disrupted because of the medicines. I interrupted and said “After you are done, I just need ten minutes”. He agreed and continued saying that I should not come to visit him. After few more minutes, he stopped. Gasping for breath, he said “Yes, tell me now. I am done”.

This was my chance to convince him and I started speaking. Since he was an aged man, I had to be extra patient, understand his predicament and converse with the right tone and tenor. Initially, he did not pay heed to my talk. I first started telling him about the benefits of eating nutritious food and the importance of medicines. He was in denial and claimed that medicines made him weaker. For an hour I employed all my talking and persuasion skills to make the old man accept his situation and make him promise to continue his treatment.

At the end of my counseling session Mr. Velu agreed and said “Alright, I think you have a point and I will take my medicines”. Hearing this I was happy and satisfied as I wanted him to get well soon.

If need be, I will visit him and counsel him.

* name changed to protect identity.

As narrated by Suganya, Field Staff, REACH

A Second Chance…

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“I spat out blood” said Kumar*, with a squinched up face, “I was terribly weak” he added. A cab driver by profession, Kumar’s trouble with his health started two years back. Kumar had been suffering from TB since 2013. Having met a doctor at a private hospital, he was put on treatment. But, due to non-affordability of medicines and erratic work schedule he was not very consistent in taking his medicines. He also quit his job, due to deteriorating health and the suffering continued.

Unable to cope up with the cough and tiredness, Kumar visited a pharmacy. The pharmacist referred him to our PPM Centre at Hindu Welfare Centre.  After initial assessment he was put on DOTS treatment. His health improved gradually and the symptoms disappeared. He realised his mistake for not continuing the treatment.

“My nonchalant behavior has caused a lot of misery. I should have continued the treatment initially”

Now a happy man, Kumar said “I have got a second chance. I am healthy now”.  Kumar has started working again and is very keen on addressing TB patients and sharing his story.

* – name changed to protect identity.


Kumar, interacting with our staff.

Kumar, interacting with our staff.

A Survivor Speak Up!

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Deepti Chavan is a TB Survivor and a committed spokesperson for TB patients and their rights. Click on the link to see Deepti share her story!


A big salute to your courage!

Zero TB Deaths in Tamil Nadu- A Campaign

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To observe World TB Day (March 24th), REACH, a Chennai-based non-profit organisation launched “Zero TB Deaths in Tamil Nadu” campaign, as part of Project Axshya, the Global Fund Round 9 initiative. We have been receiving overwhelming support and below are some pictures.