TB survivors launch Statewide network to tackle patients’ issues

Focus to be on prevention, awareness, access to diagnosis

Survivors Against Tuberculosis (SATB), a community-based network of patients who have prevailed over the infection, launched a Statewide network on Thursday.

The network will work and advocate State-specific issues around TB from a patient perspective, and will focus on prevention, awareness, access to diagnosis, stigma reduction, mental health, nutrition, and gender. It will also work on State-specific patient support and patient education interventions in tuberculosis care, SATB officials said.

According to SATB, drug-resistant TB remains a huge challenge in Maharashtra, which is a high burden State, and especially in Mumbai. The network aims to ensure that patients and survivors have access to high quality, patient-centric TB care that is stigma-free.

Deepti Chavan, a member of SATB and a multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) survivor said, “This is an appropriate time for more State-focused advocacy that reflects patient needs. The government is open and receptive, and we must engage with them on these issues.”

The SATB has also launched a media fellowship in Maharashtra to provide regional journalists with the opportunity to report on local issues around TB.

Himanshu Patel, another member of the SATB and MDR-TB survivor, said, “Continuing our current efforts, we will work with all stakeholders to build a State coalition to fight TB. Our goal is to enhance community engagement, and consequently create people centred, high quality care.”

The SATB will also work to establish similar survivor networks in other States.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:32:46 AM |

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