Tackling TB, maternal and adolescent health challenges in India: why community-based approaches work
New Delhi, Delhi, India:
During a round table organized by the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) in the capital today, three crucial health sectors – maternal and adolescent health and tuberculosis were discussed, discussing their issues and the way forward.
KHPT works on health initiatives with the most marginalized communities across India. It bases its planning and implementation strategies on an innovative evidence-based approach with strong input from community members.
This was emphasized when Mr. HL Mohan, CEO, KHPT gave his opening speech. He explained how the community-based approach adopted by KHPT was a key factor in contributing to the success of its programs in these three key areas. “Our experience has shown that when we take input and involve members of the communities we work with, greater and more relevant understanding emerges and our planning and strategies are grounded in the realities on the ground. In addition, there is community ownership which greatly contributes to the success of the programs.
As World Tuberculosis Day approaches on March 24, Dr Rajendra Joshi, Deputy Director General, National Tuberculosis Elimination Program the address was of particular importance. Echoing the theme of the round table, the DDG introduced the governmental angle. It looked at the different ways that policy makers can help accelerate these decentralized approaches in critical areas of TB care and support. “The government has used a multisectoral, holistic and intersectional response for ending TB. Our work also ensures that digital solutions of use are provided for a cost effective approach. »
Bring a grassroots movement perspective, Dr Dalbir Singh, Chair, Global TB Coalition
spoke of the government’s leadership in achieving the goal of a ‘TB Mukt Bharat’ through a groundswell across the country – a truly grassroots movement. “Elected representatives must be included in the TB response. This should not be limited to senior officials but also involve working with Panchayati Raj institutions. Their awareness and participation in the process is crucial to raising awareness and expanding access to services at the local level.
Following this, KHPT team members and community members talked about various aspects.
What are the barriers to TB care and how can they best be overcome? Dr Rehana Begum, Project Manager, Breaking the Barriers, TB, KHPT KHPT experiences related to addressing gender and stigma issues with very positive results. Highlighting KHPT’s teen programs, Ms. Maithreyi Ravikumar, Strategic Manager, Adolescent Health, KHPT elaborated on the highly successful Sphoorthi program and other programs related to girl children. Maternal and child initiatives were highlighted by Maternal and Childhood Nutrition Mrs Agnita R, Strategic Manager, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, KHPT.
The importance of amplifying the issue and the role of the media in it was echoed by Ms Mallika Tharakan, Manager, Knowledge Management and Results Delivery Officer, KHPT. A wide range of questions emerged in a discussion moderated by Dr Sukriti ChauhanAdvocacy and Program Manager, KHPT.
KHPT is a not-for-profit entity that leads evidence-based initiatives to improve the health and well-being of communities in India. KHPT mainly works in the areas of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH), Tuberculosis (TB), Adolescent Health (AH) and Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC). KHPT is implementing Breaking the Barriers, a four-year project (2020-2024), supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with its partners TB Alert India, World Vision India and CARE India in Karnataka, Telangana, Assam and Bihar respectively. The project aims to develop innovative solutions and effective behavior change operational models that improve coverage of specific vulnerable groups. populations, including vulnerable urban groups, tribal communities and migrants, mining/industrial/tea garden workers, for increased case reporting and better success treatment outcomes for patients with drug-susceptible tuberculosis (DS TB) and drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR TB).