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The USAID-initiated Tuberculosis Health Action and Learning Initiative (THALI), has been committed to evolving specific geographical and culture-specific strategies for increasing community engagement for TB awareness and management. This report provides details of one such initiative in Kolkata, West Bengal. The initiative was carried out with the assistance of local NGO partners; it involved training over 250 Touch Agents selected from the local communities and involving Ward Councillors in those communities. The Touch Agents were assigned the task of conducting ‘House to House’ visits in vulnerable communities to disseminate information on TB, combat stigma and identify presumptive cases. The initiative was successful in helping data collection, supporting TB care through counselling for patients and care givers, providing patients with links to various government schemes, promoting health seeking behaviour, enabling timely diagnosis, and improving links with TB care service providers. This document provides an overview of a robust community engagement process that can be emulated and further developed by implementers and health providers.
A gendered approach to TB prevention, cure, and treatment in West Bengal.
by THALI 40 min read