Teen Campaign to Reduce TB Cases in India

Lilly MDR TB Partnership and Children International are carrying out a public awareness campaign aimed to bolster the eradication of tuberculosis in India.

This program aims to meet the need in those communities that have a high rate of tuberculosis (TB). In its first year, 29 Children International youth reached more than 1,500 people with their message about the dangers of TB, said the humanitarian organization Children International Tuesday, Oct. 5.

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It says there is a high risk of increased resistance to TB medicines if the treatment is not completed. Volunteers — both teen and adult — mobilized patients to complete their TB treatment.

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During this second year of the campaign, Lilly MDR TB Partnership, with the support of the local government and their partnership with Children International, will empower the teen community to reach out to the 800 community members residing in two neighborhoods with a high number of TB cases in Kolkata.

“Youth and the community are encouraged with the renewal of the campaign. Its objective has been to prevent patients from dropping out of treatment programs by providing all-round disease awareness, support and motivation for TB patients to complete their treatment with a practical approach,” said Ramdas Pai, regional director, Asia Regional Office, Children International.

Under the program, teens have been trained to become Youth Peer Educators who then use a variety of health education techniques, including street theater, school presentations and discussions, and one-on-one counseling, to educate the community on the importance of remaining healthy and, if diagnosed with TB, to complete their drug regimen.

The number of registered TB patients in West Bengal (an Indian state) is more than 100,000 with more than 50,000 new cases added every year.

Eli Lilly and Company (India) is a subsidiary of the US pharmaceutical major, Eli Lilly.

Children International’s programs benefit more than 335,000 children and their families in 11 countries around the world including Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Zambia, Honduras, India, the Philippines and the United States.

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Rakesh Raman