Delhi is the world’s second most populous city, with a population of 22 million. More than half of its total population live in slums with no access to basic services like running water, electricity and sewage systems.
The Delhi DIVINE TB Project was launched in the Burari 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 grassroots level, by providing community-based TB diagnosis and treatment facilities.
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. The project was later widened to reach an additional 300,000 people in three neighbouring districts. DIVINE now has a diagnostic centre in each of the five districts, along with a central treatment unit with qualified medical staff. The unit provides antibiotics to treat drug-sensitive TB and refers complex and drug-resistant cases to the Rajan Babu TB hospital nearby. The Indian government provides all the drugs, laboratory equipment and awareness materials.
Community outreach and support
Although the Indian government has a good treatment programme, over 40% of people with TB are never diagnosed so there is a critical need to help them access life-saving treatment. Then once they 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 with possible TB symptoms and referring them to TB services
- supporting patients through their treatment by delivering Directly Observed Treatment (DOT) and distributing food and clothing.
Find out about ‘big sister’ Urmila, who is helping people with TB through vital treatment.