Fighting Tuberculosis, Saving Lives!

Tuberculosis, the deadliest communicable disease, has killed over a million people to date. Although the government has taken steps to spread awareness about the disease and is also providing free treatment, Tuberculosis is maintaining a deadly presence and has become the primary health concern. How can a disease be stronger than the Human resolve? The question continually perturbed Dr Shelly Batra and Sandeep Ahuja. The concern finally resulted in an initiative called Operation ASHA, a non-profit organisation that works to treat the people suffering from Tuberculosis.
Founded in 2006, its vision is to improve the lives of the disadvantaged people, focused on eradicating TB. Operation ASHA began with a TB treatment centre opened in September 2006 and enrolled twenty-six patients within the first three months. Today it provides Tuberculosis treatment and education services in 2,053 slums and villages in nine Indian states and two provinces in Cambodia. It is the exclusive provider of TB treatment to nearly five million Indians.
Being the largest providers of TB prevention, what sets them apart is the harnessing of mobile tech to manage field work. Faced with initial setbacks at organizational level due to high level of absenteeism among the community health workers in India, they devised an “eCompliance” system which uses biometric verification to ensure that both patients and health workers are discharging their duties in time. The vital feature of the system is a scanner that logs the site visits only after both, the patient and the field worker, concurrently submit their fingerprints. The technology proved so beneficial that it got later adopted by other countries like Uganda, Kenya, and the Dominican Republic.
Operation ASHA has since been on a steady path to eradicating the existence of Tuberculosis and was ranked among the Top 100 NGOs in the world by The Global Journal in 2013. It also managed to get a strong pan-India support with its technology being featured in the BBC, a partnership with Bill Gates’ Microsoft Research Foundation and being recognized by the World Bank.
MASH Project salutes and applauds their initiative and wishes them all the very best for their success and future endeavors. To know more about Operation ASHA click http://www.opasha.org/
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Written by- Aakriti Saxena
Researched By- Shreeya Bhutani
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