COVID-19 Response Mechanism

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COVID-19 Response Mechanism

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, people with tuberculosis (TB) struggled to receive essential care and treatment in India. To mitigate future hardships and access issues, The Union is leading a project to reduce the burden of continuing TB care during difficult periods, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

With funding from the Global Fund, The Union has developed a doorstep delivery model for people with TB, called 3-D TB Care.

This innovative approach involves doorstep sample collections, delivery of medications and tele-consultations for people with TB and their households.

To support the delivery of this model, apps were developed alongside a patient support portal to track the delivery of drugs, collection of samples and tele-counselling. The information collected can be access and analysed by the people with TB, their healthcare professionals and the National TB Programme team.

The project began in 2022, with an initial roll out of 3-D TB Care in two states starting in July 2023. The aim is to implement the initiative across 16 districts in seven states.

Developing the model

To make sure that the delivery model was fit for purpose, The Union’s project team considered:

  • the key priorities for people with TB and healthcare professionals
  • the resource requirements of 3-D TB Care
  • the TB situation in India

Through this process, the team identified the main features of delivering uninterrupted TB care and treatment. They are:

  • Drug supplies
  • Diagnostics
  • Tele-consultations with physicians and counsellors

Community engagement and pandemic preparedness

The project places a strong emphasis on engaging communities and enhancing their preparedness for future pandemics, with a focus on addressing TB-related challenges.

The Union, alongside the delivery partner, is now engaging with local communities. At village level they intend to do it through the Panchayat Raj Institutions and in urban settings through Urban Local Self bodies. Community engagement is vital to improve understanding of the service and empower people to use it.