This highly successful program meets a unique need in those communities that have a high rate of tuberculosis (TB).
In just its first year, the following milestones were accomplished:
29 Children International youth reached more than 1,500 people with their message about the dangers of TB. There is a high risk of increased resistance to TB medicines if the treatment is not completed. Motivated volunteers "both teen and adult "mobilized patients to complete their TB treatment.
The network of teen educators in the community is a unique method to increase TB awareness.
Patients treated by the government and supported by Children International adult volunteers obtained better outcomes during their treatment, as compared to patients not supported by Children International volunteers.
Fewer than 3% of patients supported by Children International volunteers defaulted during treatment.
During this second year of the campaign, Lilly MDR TB Partnership, with the support of the local government and their partnership with Children International, will empower the teen community to reach out to the 800 community members residing in two neighborhoods with a high number of TB cases in Kolkata.
"Youth and the community are encouraged with the renewal of the campaign. Its objective has been to prevent patients from dropping out of treatment programs by providing all-round disease awareness, support and motivation for TB patients to complete their treatment with a practical approach," said Ramdas Pai, Regional Director, Asia Regional Office, Children International.
Under the program, teens have been trained to become Youth Peer Educators who then use a variety of health education techniques, including street theater, school presentations and discussions, and one-on-one counseling, to educate the community on the importance of remaining healthy and, if diagnosed with TB, to complete their drug regimen.
"This is an exemplary partnership between the private sector and non-government service providers and governmental infrastructure where the community will be mobilized to avail of existing governmental facilities," said Ramdas Pai, Regional Director of Children International "Asia.
Significantly large numbers of TB cases had been identified in the densely populated urban slum areas of Narkeldanga and Jorasanko, where families (averaging 5 in number) are living in restricted spaces of 50-100 sq. feet under harsh conditions and without proper ventilation, increasing the transmission rate of infectious bacteria.
The success rate of government controlled programs in West Bengal is 84.1%, which is slightly lower than the national average, with nearly 7% of patients not completing the program.. The number of registered TB patients in West Bengal is more than 100,000 with more than 50,000 new cases added every year.
"We are happy to support the innovative campaign which has a positive impact on the lives of those infected with TB and MDR-TB. The youth as peer educators can easily reach families, communities and support patients and can bring about the change needed to address this public health challenge." Anurag Khera, Director, Corporate Affairs.
About Eli Lilly and Company (India) PVT. Ltd.: Eli Lilly and Company (India) Pvt. Ltd is a subsidiary of the US pharmaceutical major, Eli Lilly and Company founded in 1876. The company was set up in India in 1993 primarily to manufacture and market a select range of drugs. After its inception in 1993, the Indian operation achieved a quick break-even in 1996. In August 2001, a 100% Lilly subsidiary called, Eli Lilly and Company (India) Pvt. Ltd was created.
About Children International: Established in 1936, Children International is a humanitarian organization with its headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. Children International's programs benefit more than 335,000 children and their families in 11 countries around the world including Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Zambia, Honduras, India, the Philippines and the United States. For more information about Children International or to sponsor a child, visit www.children.org