Description of Innovation

Around the world, 14 million people suffer from tuberculosis (TB), a quarter of whom are in India. TB is curable and often the medication is provided free of charge. However, TB is a highly stigmatized disease and accessing treatment safely, affordably and discretely is often impossible. Further, failure to complete treatment regimes exacerbates the spread of multi-drug resistant TB, which is much more difficult and expensive to treat.

 Operation ASHA created a community based program model that uses local workers in areas with high TB prevalence to set up local treatment centers integrated within existing community resources, like temples and shops. The efficacy of the program is ensured by portable fingerprint identification system (eCompliance) that tracks and compiles patient adherence data and alerts health workers to follow up with a patient within 248 hours of a missed treatment. The model also includes outreach and counseling programs to detect and support TB patients.

Operation ASHA has successfully treated 30,150 patients while reaching a population of nearly 6 million people in more than 3,000 slums and villages across India and Cambodia. Operation ASHA’s eCompliance has reduced default rates to 3%, 3-20 times lower than alternative treatment options.