Centre for Communication and Development, Bangladesh
The Centre for Communication and Development (CCD) is harnessing the power of mass media to raise awareness of tuberculosis. The CCD project undertook several activities to help increase the exposure of TB in national and regional news. Firstly, CCD has provided TB orientation sessions to nearly 500 journalists and reporters. These sessions have been paired with fellowships for reporters to produce in-depth and investigative reports on TB issues. Moreover, organized dialogues with TB representatives help reporters understand the human side of the equation.
Journalists play a vital role in disseminating necessary data, information and messages on TB issues to the people of Bangladesh. By enhancing the knowledge, skills, and capacity of reporters to produce compelling TB-related stories, CCD is ensuring that the importance of TB in Bangladesh does not go unrecognized.
Salama SHIELD Foundation, Uganda
The Salama SHIELD Foundation (SSF), a non-profit non-governmental organisation committed to find and support health solutions to critical health issues, was granted a US$ 20,000 grant from the Stop TB Partnership/WHO through the Challenge Facility for Civil Society to support Community Based Directly Observed Therapy Short-course Strategy (community DOTS), in particular the case referrals to the health system.
The project was able to reach 111 villages with 4,481 people with health information regarding TB prevention, treatment and health service points. 111 community volunteers were selected to act as links and strengthen the referral systems. 25 health workers had their capacity enhanced in co-management of TB/HIV patients, counselling, communication and interpersonal relations skills, orient health workers in documenting TB/HIV variables in respective monitoring tools and provide evidence-based training in TB and HIV infection control in health care.
1467 cases were recorded as having reported for TB diagnosis at partner health centres and Lyantonde hospital. Two hundred (200) community and faith leaders committed to incorporate TB control activities in their work plans. Discussion of TB at the World AIDS Day and at NGO Forum meetings were organized, and 25 drama group members were trained and facilitated to reach 111 villages with TB health information.
The Salama SHIELD Foundation demonstrated the commitment and thorough planning that will be needed to create a world free of TB. Over 100 communities were introduced to the project through widely attended community meetings where local volunteers were chosen to help share the message in each location. Awareness of key STOP TB messages was increased by hugely popular performances by theatre groups. Music, dance, and drama helped to share messages to reduce stigma, improve treatment adherence, and to search out early diagnosis. This program helped to increase case detection and treatment adherence in that region of Uganda. The Salama SHIELD Foundation has demonstrated that we can all make a difference.
Pastoralist Journalist Network, Kenya
Communities, driven by cultural beliefs and misunderstanding, evicted, chased and ostracized TB patients from their family homes on the grounds that they contracted the disease as a result of a curse.
Ali Ahmed -a patient- said that he was chased from his remote village by his father and community after others noticed his audible cough and tired looking body. He was forced out of their village and began to walk; this being the only way for him to cover the great distance to access treatment.
Ali is now among hundreds of patients who will soon be discharged after finishing their treatment period. While receiving treatment, a CFCS funded project educated patients so that they could act as agents of change in their communities by reversing common misunderstandings of the disease and patients. The project also worked in villages to reduce the stigma and discrimination directed towards TB patients.
BABA Foundation, Kenya
TB is the leading cause of death among HIV/AIDS patients. In fact, TB is responsible for one in four AIDS deaths. Combined with high rates of TB/HIV co-infection, this has resulted in misunderstandings about how these two conditions interact; many in this community believe that a patient diagnosed with TB must also be HIV positive. Particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV/AIDS continues to represent a large burden of disease, TB suspects can be reluctant to go for testing for fear of also testing HIV+. The BABA Foundation based in Kenya has helped reduce stigma of TB and HIV patients through awareness and education. The project aimed to address common misconceptions regarding TB/HIV co-infection while simultaneously supporting those who are co-infected.
The BABA Foundation was able to reach hundreds of people with accurate TB/HIV messages through TB support clubs, community meetings, and community TB ambassadors. Additionally, local decision makers participated in a sensitization meeting which resulted in widespread pledges to increase support for TB/HIV activities in their communities. These stakeholders also delivered a community driven petition card to the district Minister of Health advocating for better access to TB/HIV services.
Thanks to the BABA foundation, there has been an increase in TB screening and a better understanding of TB/HIV.
The Multi-Dimensional Resource Center, Nepal
The Multi-Dimensional Resource Center (MRC) designed its project to provide services that would benefit the ultra poor and disadvantaged, marginalized communities in remote rural areas of the Makwanpur district in Nepal. The organization worked diligently to build capacity among community members and health technicians on preventive and curative measures against TB that would ensure timely diagnosis and treatment. It has formed community groups to deliver testimonials and distribute health information as well as trained individuals who become motivators and provide support for adherence to treatment as well as patients' families. As a result, the organization has achieved significant results in terms of prevention, check-ups and treatment adherence of TB patients. Using a bottom up approach to community mobilization, MRC is providing the first response for TB prevention, detection and treatment in critical need areas.