Increase patient adherence to TB treatment by making the treatment more convenient, providing the patient with education and trust, and shifting treatment from the individual to the community.
Team Treatment-Buddies seeks to increase adherence to TB treatment in Bihar in India by improving the effectiveness of a DOTS program that is already being implemented by the Prajnopaya Foundation. Tuberculosis treatment lasts six months and involves taking a handful of pills under supervision biweekly, which are toxic and have side-effects. Within two months, the patient feels better, and discontinuing treatment appears desirable. However, if the full dosage is not taken, the bacteria remaining in the patient�s body can develop resistance to the TB drugs, thus introducing a dangerous strain of TB. Our solution increases patient adherence by making the treatment more convenient, providing the patient with education and trust, and shifting treatment from the individual to the community.
Our solution divides patients into single-gender local peer groups, each assigned a local paid peer worker, recruited from those who have successfully completed the treatment, who acts as a liaison between the health center and the patients. The peer worker dispenses pills, educates the patients about the treatment, and records weight and body temperature as well as symptoms and concerns through a tape-recorder. Peer workers work with patients who stop attending the group sessions to understand their reluctance find a way to help them stick to their drug regimen.
Shelly Manber, Mathematics Course 18, 2008
Kathleen Cui, Economics Course 14, 2008
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