Every year, Tuberculosis (TB) kills nearly as many people as HIV/AIDS and Malaria combined. Globally, India has the highest rate of TB, affecting mainly the poor and malnourished. The disease is curable, but also highly contagious with a long recovery period.
This is very challenging for families who earn enough to live day-to-day and have little savings, if any. A prolonged illness can financially devastate a family because people cannot work, and treatment can be very expensive. Such is the case for Tansa Valley villagers, and this is why PRASAD Chikitsa has made providing low-cost treatment for TB a priority.
Banarasi Rambirj Pal, his wife Anjali and son Suraj, a ninth-grader, have gone to PRASAD Chikitsa for medical support for 10 years. When Suraj was 7-years-old, he was successfully treated for abdominal TB. Just this year, Banarasi, the only earner in the family, was diagnosed with TB and missed two months of work. His family barely managed, but they were lucky to have some modest savings and pulled through. Banarasi is well and working again.
“My family has again been cared for by PRASAD. A month after Banarasi was diagnosed with TB, we were counting every rupee. He could not work, so there was no income, but we had full faith in the treatment; as a result, he is now recovering and has started to work again,” Anjali said.
In 2018, PRASAD Chikitsa achieved a 95% cure rate for TB – ten percentage points above the government target. Keeping the people of the Tansa Valley well and at work or at school is vital to the sustainability of their communities and to the wellbeing of generations to come. To help us continue this life-saving work, click here.
Dr. M. Cecilia Escarra
The PRASAD Project