A rickshaw puller by profession, 61 year old Mahmood Khairati was earning a meager salary and barely able to make ends meet.
His condition has been deteriorating steadily for the last few months. He has developed a persistent cough, suffers from a fever every evening, and frequently has night sweats. These symptoms and his growing weakness has now forced him to stay at home and rest.
Despite the obvious symptoms, the disease wasn’t detected, as he couldn’t afford to consult a private doctor or lose out on an entire day’s salary by standing in long lines at a government hospital.
One day an Operation ASHA provider visited his house, interacted with him and immediately recognized his symptoms. After a lot of persuasion, Mahmood agreed to visit a lab and get tested; the test came back positive. However, because of the intense social stigma associated with TB, he denied the situation and refused to take treatment of any sort. The Operation ASHA provider formed a personal bond with Mr. Mahmood, connected with him on an emotional level, spoke to him as a friend, and finally convinced him to take the medication.
During healthier times, Mahmood had a lot of friends with whom he spent many hours. However, during his time of illness, no one even wanted to stand on his doorstep. Even his family turned against him. He became a social outcast, left all alone to cope with his disease.
He went through a difficult time– Mahmood lost all hope and felt like quitting the treatment. However, Operation ASHA’s well trained provider was his continuous companion, as his doctor, his friend, and a member of his family. The use of eCompliance ensured that Mahmood adhered to the treatment.
He followed the standard six-month-long DOTS regime, and now he is healthy once again. Regaining his health has made him happier than ever, and he is extremely thankful to Operation ASHA and the Government for helping him through the treatment process. Sickness had made him so weak that he wasn’t able to stand on his feet, but regaining his strength after successful treatment has been no less than a miracle for him. He is now working hard and supporting his family to the best of his capability.
Mahmood’s story had a happy ending, but there are many more who are struggling with TB and the adverse effects of poverty. Operation ASHA’s providers are working around the clock to help them regain their health and happiness. The active case-finding done by Operation ASHA providers has increased the detection rate and reduced the gap between the detection of disease and initiation of treatment. eCompliance has eliminated human error and ensured that every single dose is taken by the patient, thereby reducing default rates.
Until now Operation ASHA has successfully treated more than 76,089 patients. It has created jobs for more than 195 semi-literate youths and has given an additional income to 124 micro-entrepreneurs/community partners in disadvantaged communities, which serve as the locations for Operation ASHA treatment centers.
Please visit our website and learn more about our efforts to eradicate tuberculosis. With even a small donation, you can improve the situation for Nababa and others like him: http://opasha.org/donate/
With your support there can be a happy ending to this story.