Community Advocacy to add TB activities in Global Fund COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM)
As part of its commitment to support the TB community and civil society, DOPASI Foundation advocated for and ensured the inclusion of numerous TB activities in the COVID-19 country funding request from Global Fund. This was achieved by partnering with the C19RM funding request writing team and consulting with the TB affected community and civil society partners.
The purpose of this intervention was to highlight the needs of a high-risk community through restoration of services and reduction of COVID impact on AIDS, TB, and Malaria-related activities.
Screening of Coal Miners and Associated Communities
Since 2018, DOPASI Foundation has intensively engaged in a screening quest to find people affected by TB within the coal mining and associated communities, which is a key-at-risk population segment.
This quest was based on a global reference, which stated that coal miners are 10 times higher at risk for TB - as compared to the general population. But when DOPASI Foundation started screening coal miners on mining sites in Balochistan, the number of cases was at par with the general population which raised the need for further investigation & the Foundation proposed for the screening of residents of the coal mining home districts.
These hard-to-reach home remote districts were then screened by the help of portable X-Rays where the prevalence of TB was much higher as compared to the local population.
At the end of the project, the Foundation concluded that on-site lower cases were because only healthy individuals were able to work at the mining sites while the ones who were sick/unwell returned to their hometowns where there were no health care services for returnee miners suffering from TB and other pulmonary diseases.
The screening has since covered some of the highly warranted areas of Pakistan including 5 coal mining districts of Balochistan, 4 districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2 districts of Punjab, and 1 district of Sindh. As a result, the respective districts had a tangible increase in case notification due to mass awareness with overall achievement of screening of 164,783 beneficiaries, identifying 42,231 presumptive persons and 424 bacteriological cases.
All the TB cases were enrolled for treatment with the TB management units closest to them and were followed up by DOPASI Foundation to ensure their treatment adherence until cure.