Using a colourful, illustrated Patients’ Charter, Project Axshya sensitised just over 30,000 TB patients in 2015. The charter, which has been translated into 19 regional languages, empowers patients by ensuring that they understand their rights, make informed choices and become equal partners in the management of their care.
The rights outlined include:
- Right to information about their disease and treatment
- Right to be treated with respect and dignity
- Right to confidentiality
- Right to job security, nutritional support and quality-assured diagnostics and drugs
The charter also informs patients about their responsibility to adhere to treatment, encourages them to share complete information about their condition with their healthcare providers, and invites them to help others facing the challenge of TB.
Working in 300 districts, Axshya reached the patients by supporting the development of district TB forums that include community leaders, TB-affected persons and members of other civil society organisations. Members of the forum are then trained to present the charter to the patients in their communities.
Reaching women is one of the priorities of the programme with the goal that they should make up 30 per cent of the participants in the sessions. Of the more than 30,000 sensitised in 2015, 12,000 were women.
Since TB disproportionately affects the poor and underprivileged, this type of sensitization sensitisation is crucial to raising awareness amongst both patients and communities – and to controlling the spread of TB and saving lives.
Download the Patients’ Charter in English: