Nonprofit or community organization
Last modified: August 9, 2012, 8:56 AM
Operation ASHA is treating Tuberculosis in the slums of India, serving a population of 2 million slum-dwellers in five states and expanding rapidly. It has recently been elected to the Board of WHO's Stop TB partnership.
Operation ASHA has taken TB treatment to the doorsteps of the disadvantaged. Treatment centers are established within the community, e.g. in small shops, huts and temples, so patients can procure the medicine conveniently, without wasting time or spending money on transport, or losing wages. Our highly trained counsellors are responsible for tracking and eliminating default. In addition, Operation ASHA carries out intensive educational campaign and education camps. 80% of our funds are used for social mobilization and rest for delivery of treatment.
Operation ASHA works very closely with Revised National TB Control Programme and uses drugs, hospitals and diagnostic facilities provided by it.
Our model has achieved excellent results. In South Delhi where Operation ASHA is a major force, detection rate has increased by 78%. Default is down to 1%, thus Operation ASHA has 'turned the tap off', preventing MDR. Experts have found our work to be truly remarkable and fascinating and excellent.
We practice stringent cost control. The cost of treating a patient for the entire therapy of average seven months is only $15. The government provides a grant so each center becomes self-sustaining within two years.
"Operation ASHA's DOTS centers serve as low-cost, efficient and accessible pipeline penetrating deep into the slums where government and other nonprofits have failed to reach", said a management expert from McKinsey.
We have tied up with MIT, which is conducting randomized control trials to assess the impact of Operation ASHA in slum communities. Research department of Microsoft has taken up development of bio-metric devices for us, to track each dose taken by each patient and further improve our results. We have partnered with the Prajnopaya Foundation, which is based in Boston and supports the vision of its chief patron, Nobel Laureate His Holiness the Dalai Lama. We are also discussing a partnership with another large international US based nonprofit.
Having virtually eliminated default, established a cost-effective and replicable model, Operation ASHA is expanding rapidly. It plans to establish 1000 DOTS centers by 2012, which will serve a population of 70 million. It is looking for funding and partnerships to achieve this goal.