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The Big Push Campaign 2/3: No Stigma for TB

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This is the second part of the Big Push Campaign Posts. Extend your  support and solidarity with all those fighting to reduce TB, AIDS and Malaria, to create a better world.

The Big Push Campaign: TB treatment for All

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We at REACH have participated in the Big Push Campaign to express our support and solidarity with all those fighting to reduce TB, AIDS and Malaria, to create a better world.  You are viewing the first part of our 3 part blog on the same.

You too can participate and voice your support. Join the Big Push Campaign here:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/22/the-big-push_n_1884997.html?1348495543&utm_hp_ref=impact

Kids speak: “I will stop TB by…”

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After an awareness program with school children ranging from classes 9-12, we gave them pieces of paper and asked them to complete the phrase “I will stop TB by……..”. We loved their responses.

Here are some of them:
I will stop TB by……
  1. Spreading awareness and supporting anyone that has it
  2. Making a movie
  3. Convincing friends and family to maintain a strong immune system
  4. Murdering Mr Bacteria
  5. Becoming a DOTS provider
  6. Visiting places where there is less awareness and tell them about the disease and that we can help
  7. Making short films
  8. Motivating people to overcome the disease
  9. Telling people about REACH
  10. Identifying the symptoms
  11. Have a concert to create awareness
  12. Writing articles to spread mass awareness
  13. Having outreach programs
  14. Helping people
  15. Visit some villages to treat people who are affected with TB
  16. Encouraging people not to be ashamed of it
  17. Spreading awareness about TB and AIDS
  18. Putting ads on TV
  19. Advertising about TB in my restaurants
  20. Educating young minds
  21. Volunteering!
  22. Telling people to not drink and smoke
  23. Making sure every individual is fed and has good nutrition
  24. Eating right
  25. Spreading the word on TB. world peace and unity!

Anne and Neha

REACH Team

She Sings to Stop TB

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“May the Lord be with you in all your journeys to the villages as you work towards spreading the TB message to build healthier communities” said Theresa as she blessed us when we left Anupampet village.  At 65, Theresa has a remarkably ethereal and capturing voice, which she has come forward to lend us.

The NREGA program which is a government scheme to ensure employment for people in rural areas is being implemented in 55 villages through out the Minjuir district in North Madras. We at REACH have come up with a plan to carry out TB sensitization programs at all these workplaces. We have completed 7 such programs, during one of which we got to meet Theresa who spontaneously came up to us and sang a few songs to demonstrate her singing skills. She since then has joined us during programs and helps draw crowds for a program by singing TB songs before we start the actual program

Extremely enthusiastic and positive about the changes we can create in terms of better health for these people, Theresa serves as a great source of inspiration for us.

Sai Dinakar

REACH Blog Team

A Cured Patient Stopping TB

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Thirumal is a 42 year old patient who has just been cured from Tuberculosis after undergoing DOTS treatment through the REACH Minjuir DOTS centre. Couple of months back Thirumal was in bad shape. He could barely stand on his feet and couldn’t even go about his daily duties without assistance. Cured now and aware of the nature of the disease,Thirumal talks about the disease and its symptoms to people in his vicinity. He assists the REACH staff at the DOTS centre in creating awareness in the community by distributing pamphlets containing TB information and by mobilizing people to attend TB talks.

“I want a community free of TB” says Thirumal.

Sai Dinakar

REACH Blog Team

Doctors Stopping TB

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Dr. Raghu Nanda Kumar, at his Care & Cure clinic.

Dr. Raghu Nanda Kumar stops TB by referring TB patients from his Care and Cure clinic for DOTS treatment. He says patients in the periurban areas are unable to adhere to treatment due to the high cost of TB drugs. Free drugs supplied through the DOTS strategy is a boon for such patients and enables them to complete treatment elaborates Dr. Raghu.

‘I want more patients in periurban areas to use the DOTS program” says Dr. Raghu.

REACH Blog Team

The Role of the Field Officers is fundamental for the Success of DOTS

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Dr. SangeethaBalasubramaniam, M. D.,
Consultant Physician, Diabetes &Hypertension Specialist

A modest two room clinic with all the essentials in place is what describes Dr. Sangeetha’s practice space on a narrow lane occupied with automobile shacks at Border Thottam, Mount Road. This busy, young doc who portrays the perfect picture of a compassionate doctor, has been doing DOTS for the past four years and has put fifteen of her patients on DOTS so far.

Dr. Sangeetha, as a policy, immediately waivers her consultation fee for a patient when he or she is diagnosed with Tuberculosis. Her team at the clinic which includes two nurses; Latha and Nisha do a good job in motivating patients to get back on track when they loose to follow-up.

Her first encounter with DOTS was through REACH and feels it is an essential tool for a lower middle class area like Border Thottam where potential patients exist. “TB treatment is a long process which makes close follow up an essential. DOTS avails this kind of follow up and free drugs too. The role of the field officers is crucial in the success of DOTS. They coordinate with us and engage in all forms of needed networking to help a patient towards cure. I have shown up for two workshops arranged by REACH for private practitioners which I find very useful. To help a patient complete treatment I take up different roles in terms of being a kind friend to a strict police man” explains Dr.Sangeetha.

REACH Blog Team

JUNE BABIES

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REACH birthday Babies- From left to right-Devi, Mangai, Sai Pradap, Soundarajan, and Neha.

It was a special occasion for the REACH team to observe the birthdays of our staff in the month of JUNE.

We take this opportunity of wishing them another new year ahead with REACH, filled with blessings and riches from above.

With lots of love,

REACH Blog team

Industries Stopping TB

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ABAN CARES, a shipping company, has been funding the running costs of the REACH DOTS centre at Minjur since 2011. A DOTS centre is a place where people can receive counseling and guidance services to access government health centers providing free diagnosis and treatment for TB. The DOTS centre helps patients in early detection of the disease and ensures that patients complete treatment for 6-8 months through the DOTS strategy.

ABAN CARES is stopping TB by curing patients and stopping the chain of transmission in the community.

” By helping out in small way, we want to stop TB by making TB care easily accessible to people in rural areas.” says a representative of ABAN CARES.

REACH Blog Team

Sweets and Savories Packed in a Pink Bag

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From lying in the corner of a room to sitting up and briskly walking Rathnam has come a long way.

During our initial meeting, 75 year old Rathnam was too ill to even figure out who I was. She uttered her problems about her illness with dismay. I then counseled her about the treatment and encouraged her to adhere to treatment to get well soon.

During my second visit, she looked much better and had regained the strength to sit. She complained about how hard the tablets were on her and that she would not take them anymore. I explained that she had to continue with the tablets to fight the TB bacilli lodged in her body. She asked me if that meant that they were worms in her body. To make her comply with treatment I told her it was something similar. Alarmed she said she would continue her tablets.

During my following visits to her house Rathnam often wanted to express her appreciation by giving me some cash, a cool drink or food. However I always managed to resist this in a pleasant manner.

Rathnam was regular with her treatment and was cured. Before my final visit her daughter called me to confirm the time that I would be visiting them.  However on my final visit Rathnam had gone to her son’s house and her granddaughter was at work. Her daughter greeted me with a warm smile but was unhappy about Rathnams absence and her daughters too.

As I left she came up to me hurriedly and handed over a pretty pink carry bag packed with sweets and savories. I refused to receive it, but she pleaded and said that this was specially packed by Rathnam and her daughter for me. Not wanting to upset her I received the bag. The bag read “Thank YOU Best Wishes”.

I left with a pleasant feeling that filled my heart with joy.

Vidhya

REACH Blog Team

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