We need people – people like those in TB Alert, who are focused and ambitious and care for people at grass roots in the UK, India and Africa. Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership
The Delhi DIVINE TB Project was launched in the Burari and and Sant Nagar districts of Delhi in March 2008 by TB Alert’s sister organisation, TB Alert India.
The project aims to strengthen India’s national TB programme at a community level, by providing TB diagnosis and treatment facilities and, equally importantly, through community outreach work.
TB diagnosis and treatment
From 2008 to 2011, DIVINE provided two diagnostic centres in the slum districts of Delhi, serving a population of 300,000.
In early 2011, the project was extended until 2014 at
the request of the Indian Government, and widened to reach an additional
300,000 people in the three adjoining districts of Swarup Nagar, Ibrahimpur and
Nathupura. DIVINE now provides a diagnostic centre in each of the five
districts. DIVINE was also asked to establish a central Treatment Unit with qualified
medical staff. This facility provides antibiotics to treat drug-sensitive TB
and refers complex and drug-resistant cases to the Rajan Babu TB hospital
nearby, the largest TB hospital in Asia. The Indian government provides all the
drugs, laboratory equipment and awareness materials.
Although the Indian government has an excellent treatment programme, individuals who may have TB symptoms need to be identified and helped to access diagnosis and treatment. Once people are receiving treatment, they need to be supported to complete their course of medication.
The DIVINE project uses an Information, Education and Communication (IEC) van, provided by the Delhi Rotary Club, to tour the area showing films and delivering key messages about TB.
The project also employs two Community Outreach Workers to support the project’s 75 trained volunteers – many of whom have themselves recovered from TB – who raise awareness of TB and provide treatment support at a local level by:
- Organising community meetings
- Identifying people showing possible TB symptoms and referring them to TB services
- Supporting patients through their treatment by delivering Directly
Observed Treatment and distributing food and clothing
Urmila's story: A local shopkeeper becomes known as a community's 'big sister', through her TB work