The Union’s Project Axshya has established 97 tuberculosis (TB) treatment and information kiosks in 40 cities in India to provide better and more patient-centred care. These kiosks provide TB information, counselling and directly observed treatment services to patients and their families.
The kiosks address the common challenges faced by the community, including the limited opening hours of healthcare centres, difficulty in accessing care and a lack in personalised service. In 2016, over 30,000 people in vulnerable and at-risk communities benefitted from these services.
Axshya Kiosks are set up in public health facilities such as chest or district hospitals, medical colleges and in and around densely populated urban zones and industrial areas where TB rates are higher. They offer extended hours from 6AM to 9PM, during which time trained community volunteers administer TB treatment, collect sputum samples and provide drop in consultations for patients and their families seeking information and counselling services.
With this initiative, Project Axshya is working to address patient-centred care as key to eliminating TB, as laid out in the End TB strategy. By designing care around the patients’ needs, the kiosks facilitate access, treatment adherence and earlier diagnoses.
In Delhi, 21 kiosks have been opened, such as the one located at the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, catering to 300 TB patients. Dr Mrityunjaya Shukla, a medical officer working with Project Axshya, has seen encouraging results from the kiosk’s first year.
“The client load for TB at the hospital is extremely high and the extended hours of the kiosk have helped stagger patients. Many of our patients are daily wage workers or schoolchildren so flexible hours help them access services and continue treatment. The number of patients lost to follow up has dropped by one-third since setting up this kiosk”, he said.
Project Axshya has also taken the service one step further by conducting active case finding in the communities around the kiosks. Volunteers go door-to-door to deliver information about TB, identify those with TB symptoms and link them to services. They counsel family members and follow up with patients who have initiated treatment.
Project Axshya is a civil society initiative in India implemented by The Union and seven civil society partners with support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Project Axshya uses creative solutions to expand access to TB information and services, increase the accountability of service providers and empower communities in 285 districts and 40 urban sites across 19 states in India.