The Union’s Project Axshya, an extensive civil society initiative that uses innovative approaches and active case finding to extend TB services to populations often missed by healthcare systems, has worked with more than 200 TB survivors in India to advocate for people seeking treatment for TB. By ensuring survivors are trained in how to tell their story and how to engage with high-level decision makers, they are able to join discussions on TB control in the country and ensure that those in need of care are part of the conversation.
Project staff and volunteers have supported the formation of District TB Forums, to ensure people in treatment for TB are aware of their rights and responsibilities. The forums have representation from affected communities, as well as influencers including journalists, lawyers, non-governmental organisation (NGO) representatives and others who advocate to influence policy changes for accessible, affordable and supportive TB services for all, with a special focus on vulnerable populations.
In addition, working through the USAID-supported Challenge TB project, The Union has convened many discussions on TB control in India at the state and national level, allowing TB survivors to speak on stage with health service providers, policy makers and other international stakeholders. Through these efforts, The Union has helped to ensure that affected communities are included in the TB debate and their perspective is considered.
Project Axshya works with a network of local NGOs across 128 districts in 14 states in India and has had great success in extending TB services to areas where they can be difficult to access. Project Axshya is supported by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and has been operating across India since 2010.
PROJECT AXSHYA FACILITATES ACCESS TO TB SERVICES IN INDIA
6.5 million people from at-risk communities were served with information and services through The Union’s Project Axshya. 182,000 people showing TB symptoms were identified and tested for TB and 24,200 people were diagnosed and connected to TB treatment.