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 frequent 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 days’ 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 hours. However, during his time of illness no one even wanted to stand on 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 provider 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 once again. Regaining his health has made him happier than ever and he is extremely thankful to Operation ASHA and the Government for the same. Sickness had made him so weak that he wasn’t able to stand on his feet but getting back 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 & 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.