Fusing journalism and TB – telling the stories as they are

Childhood tuberculosis—the time for action is NOW – a follow up story

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In response to a story that appeared in JATB some weeks ago,entitled Childhood tuberculosis—the time for action is NOW, I have received a response from Global Health Advocates, the organisation that had originally identified the cases of Akshay and Pankaj, featured in the story. I reproduce the response below. The response has been sent to JATB by Mr Christo Mathews of Global Health Advocates.

…My colleague, Sapna Naveen, had met the parents, Mrs. and Mr. Shamlal in the last week of October (we were given their details by their doctor in the LRS) and discussed their issue with a view to getting them to speak as patient advocates at our function on the 14th of November 2011, in New Delhi. Their children – Akshay (13 yrs old) and Pankaj (5 yrs old) – were both diagnosed with XDR and the family had to lose their property in order to get treatment for the children. In early November, Sapna took the matter up with the State TB officials in Amritsar – the Deputy STO – who connected her with the State WHO RNTCP Consultant to help take this further. The WHO Consultant, most helpfully, spoke to the CTD and then urged that we send the case information to the STO, Punjab. She made us aware that it was the State TB cell’s prerogative to provide XDR medicines from their funds. We sent the letter to the STO, asking for his intervention and it was forwarded to the DTO, for action. Sapna had also requested their doctor at LRS to issue the children a medical certificate, stating that they are non-infective in order to get them re-admitted to school since the school had barred them due to their condition. The kids have since started treatment (they are getting medicines from the DTO). One has actually ‘turned negative’ and the other shows encouraging signs of improvement…

JATB thanks Christo Mathews for updating this story with the ‘happy ending’.

Written by JournalistsAgainstTB

August 19, 2012 at 11:25 am

Posted in TB and Media

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