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Mahmood Khairati, The Rickshaw Puller, Beating The Odds

Mahmood Khairati, the rickshaw puller, beating the odds

A rickshaw puller by profession, 61 year old Mahmood Khairati earned a meager salary and was barely able to make ends meet.

His condition steadily deteriorated over the period of just a few months. He developed a persistent cough, had high fever every evening and frequent night sweats. His condition forced him to stay at home and rest.

Despite the obvious symptoms, the disease wasn’t detected for a long time. Mahmood couldn’t afford to consult a private doctor or lose out on an entire days’ salary by standing in long lines at a government hospital.

One day an Operation ASHA worker visited his house, and after talking to him was immediately able to recognize 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 Mahmood, connected with him on an emotional level, spoke to him as a friend, and finally convinced him to take the medication.

Before being diagnosed with tuberculosis, Mahmood led a normal life spending time with his many friends. However, during his illness no one would even stand at his door. 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, lost all hope and felt like quitting the treatment in between. However, Operation ASHA’s well trained worker was his continuous companion, as his doctor, his friend and a family member. The Use of eCompliance ensured that Mahmood adhered to the treatment.

He followed the standard 6 month long dots regime and now he is healthy again. Regaining his health has made him happier than ever and he is extremely thankful to Operation ASHA and the Government.  He is now working hard again and supporting his family, to the best of his capability.

Mahmood’s story has a happy ending, but there are many more who are struggling with TB & the adverse effects of poverty. Operation ASHA’s providers are working round the clock to help them regain their health and happiness. The Active case finding done by Operation ASHA providers has increased the detection rate & reduced the gap between detection of disease & initiation of treatment. eCompliance has eliminated human error & ensured that every single dose is taken by the patient thereby, reducing default

Till now operation ASHA has successfully treated more than 30,000 patients. It has created jobs for more than 190 semi literate youths and has given an additional income to 175 Micro-entrepreneurs/Community partners in disadvantaged communities, which serve as the locations for Operation ASHA treatment centers.

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