Globally, tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top ten causes of death, with the highest percentage of these deaths reported from developing countries. The Global TB report 2021 estimated the incidence in all forms of TB in India in 2020 was 188/1,000,00 population. India accounts for highest global TB burden and hence, reported a sharp 19 % rise in the TB cases in 2021 over the previous year (India TB report). Despite the nationwide accessibility of free diagnostic and treatment care under the national TB Elimination Programme (NTEP); the remained challenges in the context of notification, early diagnosis and treatment, drugs transportation, adherence, and patient support systems. Additionally, stigma related to the disease often lead to dilemma and reluctant to seek a correct and complete treatment.
Tuberculosis (TB), a potentially serious infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs. The bacteria “Mycobacterium tuberculosis primarily affects the lungs, causing Pulmonary Tuberculosis (pulmonary TB), but can also affect other part of the body, causing extra-pulmonary TB. The TB bacteria are spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Most people infected with the bacteria that cause tuberculosis don't have symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they usually include a cough (sometimes blood-tinged), weight loss, night sweats and fever. Patients with active symptoms will require a long course of treatment involving multiple antibiotics.
The national program (NTEP) has been adopting newer drugs and treatment modalities. In recent years, India has made far-reaching progress in the management of TB. An injection free treatment regimen for Drug-sensitive TB (DS-TB) has been implemented across the country. The programme has also introduced a comprehensive package for differentiated care of TB patients to identify the patient’s requiring referral or hospitalisation to reduce TB mortality. Tackling TB in India requires strengthening the public sector and engaging the private stakeholders including the civil society. GLRA India provides a continuum of TB services across several locations with an aim by promoting screening, early reporting, better treatment adherence among the marginalized and vulnerable communities.
Traditionally, TB programs mostly focus on the sputum positive pulmonary patients due to their increased risk of spreading the disease. However, the patients suffering from extra-pulmonary disease are neglected but often they get very serious due to vital organs involvement. GLRA in association with Bantra St. Thomas Home, Howrah, West Bengal provides free indoor TB care to extremely poor patients for women and children suffering from extra-pulmonary tuberculosis. The project also manages TB outpatient department that offers free medical services to the population from the nearby urban slums of Howrah as a designated TB microscopy and DOTS services under NTEP.
Nai DISHA (New Distinctive Integrated & Sustainable Health Action) aims to improve the demand for, access to and availability of TB treatment services at the target TSLs. Thus, the project contributes to the reduction of morbidity and mortality due to tuberculosis amongst truckers & allied populations. The project’s slogan ‘’on the road to end TB’’ encourages the population on the road to have easy access to TB services.
Axshya Plus is a three years Global funded project to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (The Global Fund-TGF) with primary objective on Programmatic Management of Tuberculosis Preventive Therapy. Project will be implemented in hundred and seven districts across the seven states. The Union is principal recipient whereas GLRA-India is implementation partner in Thirty-Eight districts, Twenty-seven in Madhya Pradesh whereas Eleven in West Bengal for a period between April 2021- March 2024. One of the major components of the project “Programmatic Management of TB Preventive Therapy (PMTPT)” is being implemented by GLRA India.
Truckers are one of the most vulnerable sections who are deprived of adequate personal health care due to several reasons. Being away from the families for months, they are habitual in living sub-standard hygienic conditions thus exposure to communicable diseases. To address the health issues of truckers and allied populations, in association with Apollo Tyres Foundation (CSR initiative) GLRA providing health care in Chennai and Namakkal in Tamil Nadu and providing health services such as HIV testing, Vision Care, Diabetes, Hypertension, and Tuberculosis through static and outreach camps.