Project Axshya receives a high rating from The Global Fund – and an extension through 2017

Project Axshya, an innovative – and enormous – five-year project designed to improve access to TB diagnosis and treatment in India, has been approved by The Global Fund to continue through 2017 under the New Funding Model. The decision was based on the consistently high performance of the project, which has achieved more than 100% on almost every target and received an “A1” rating on its recent performance review.

Implemented by The Union South East Asia Office, Project Axshya has used a variety of innovative interventions to reach those with the greatest difficulty in accessing TB diagnosis and treatment services across 300 districts in 21 States of India. The project is carried out through an extensive network – including eight national NGOs (sub-recipient partners), over 1000 local NGOs and nearly 15,000 community volunteers. Highlights of what the achieved between April 2014 and March 2015 include:

  • Reached nearly four million households of vulnerable and marginalised population groups through an innovative intervention “Axshya SAMVAD” through which trained community volunteers (called Axshya Mitras) conduct house-to-house visits and identify and link people with presumptive TB to TB services while simultaneously increasing pubic awareness about the disease.
  • Reached close to 900,000 people through 65,000 community meetings held with various community groups including Village Health, Sanitation and Nutrition Committees (VHSNC); local self‐ government and Self-Help Groups (SHGs).
  • Sensitised and empowered 39,000 TB patients (including 10,000 women patients) on their rights and responsibilities.  
  • Trained nearly 13,000 Rural Health Care Providers (RHCPs), who serve as the first point of contact for more than 70 per cent of the rural population. The training taught them to identify and refer people with presumptive TB for diagnosis and to serve as directly observed treatment (DOT) providers for TB patients.

Through these interventions, Axshya facilitated the identification and sputum testing of nearly 300,000 presumptive TB patients, primarily from vulnerable and marginalised communities with limited access to TB services. This included collection and transportation of nearly 250,000 sputum samples ; and has resulted in the diagnosis of nearly 25,000 TB patients who have since been initiated on treatment.