Revolutionizing Tuberculosis Treatment


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Delhi, INDIA
IN India
Web http://opasha.org/

In development

About the project Edit

Operation ASHA eDOTS initiative is enhancing tuberculosis (TB) control by implementing biometric attendance terminals at its treatment centres. Because patients who default on their medicines are likely to develop multi-drug resistant TB (MDR), patient adherence to standard tuberculosis medicines is essential. In response to the rising epidemic, the WHO implemented the DOTS program, which requires patients to travel to TB clinics and take their medicines under the observation of a health worker.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

eDOTS program requires patients to register their attendance on a fingerprint reader when they take their medicines. At the end of each day, the attendance record from every terminal is sent to the database via text message. On the occasion that a patient misses his or her dose, a notifying text message is sent from the terminal to the responsible health worker and supervisor.Once the SMS is sent, the health worker has 48 hours to deliver TB medicines and acquire the fingerprint of the defaulting patient as proof of the visit

It is the first to apply biometric attendance monitoring to tuberculosis treatment in the country. It was observed that as on date no other TB control system could provide verifiable evidence to back up its TB statistics.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

eDOTS focuses health consultation on the patients who need it most, while providing indisputable verification that a patient was physically present for the treatment. In response to a common behaviour among ill-informed under-privileged patients, eDOTS digitally tracks patient adherence and ensures that patients are physically present to take their medicines.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Winner 2011, E-Health category, Manthan Award 201 Digital Inclusion for Development , South Asia
The Jury noted that in that context, innovation, transparency and accountability are the strong pillars of this initiative. The Jury also noted that eDOTS is currently the most reliable method of tracking tuberculosis treatment for slum areas. Usually TB symptoms subside after the first two months of treatment consequently patients often fail to complete the full 6-7 month regimen. The Jury appreciated that this initiative, now implemented in all OpASHA South Delhi Centres over an year, would be the most effective in areas with minimal resources and that way the project is doing an yeoman service to the health sector.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

Dr. Shelly Batra and Sandeep Ahuja founded Operation ASHA in 2005 with a compelling vision: a tuberculosis-free India. Their clear-sighted goals and unwavering dedication prompted policy-makers, health practitioners and investors to join from both sides of the Atlantic.

What is the business model of this project? Edit

The business model adheres to standards and methods that make our treatment model successful. In 14 points, you can find out just how and why OpASHA works successfully.

1. We follow DOTS (Direcly Observed Therapy, Short Course). DOTS is a treatment method approved by the World Health Organization in 1993 and implemented by governments across the world.
2. We work in close collaboration with the National TB Program..
3. We employ trusted community leaders.
4. Rapid-response testing and education for patients and their immediate families and friends.
5. Well-trained corps of local counselors
6. Over-the-counter drugs: OpASHA also provides medicines to counteract some of the side-effects of TB medication and help reduce the number of missed doses due to a patient reacting poorly to the TB meds. Pain medications and antacids are distributed to anyone who needs them.
7. Skilled field staff
8. Robust feedback
9. Strict quality control
10. Low-cost operating model
11. Sustainability: In India, a government grant pays for recurring expenses two years after work is started in any city, thus making the program financially self-sufficient after two years.
12. eCompliance: This is the single most effective innovation by OpASHA. Using SMS and biometric technologies.
13. Easy expansion: Centers can operate independently of daily oversight from the main office.
14. Urban and Rural Methods

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