An Innovative Approach to Tackle Childhood

World Vision India launches 'FACT' project in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, 3rd February 2016: World Vision India today announced the launch of Focussed Approach Towards Childhood Tuberculosis (FACT) project at Musheerabad High School in the city today. The project is an innovative approach towards increasing awareness on childhood Tuberculosis (TB) to ensure high quality care for TB-affected infants and children, ultimately reducing the number of TB deaths in the city. 

Mr. Rajeshwar Tiwari, Principle Secretary of Health, Telangana was the Chief Guest for the project launch.  Other dignitaries present at the launch included Dr. Surya Prakash, State TB Officer, Telangana and Dr. Aruna Kumari, District TB Control Officer, Hyderabad. Around 400 school children, along with 100 Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP) staff, were also present at the event. 

Every day, up to 200 children lose their lives to TB - a preventable and curable disease. Over half a million children fall ill with TB each year and struggle with treatment that is not child friendly. The World TB report 2014 estimated there were about nine million new TB cases globally, of which 2.16 million (24%) are in India. Young children have a high risk of progression to disease following infection, and are much more likely to develop severe or disseminated TB. Children with latent tuberculosis infection become the reservoir of future disease in adulthood, perpetuating the epidemic.

"Many children are often not diagnosed with TB because the traditional sputum-based diagnostic tests do not detect small numbers of bacteria. A school-based community health approach is a feasible way to bring culturallysensitive health information and basic services to millions of people who currently do not have access to them. As an NGO with over 13 years of experience addressing TB in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, we are positive that the FACT project can go a long way in controlling the number of child and infant deaths due to TB," said Mr. Cherian Thomas, CEO and National Director, World Vision India. 

The FACT project revolves around three key components: advocacy to ensure access to quality childhood TB prevention and treatment services at the policy level, increasing awareness among children, families and their communities, and association with Community Health Workers for improved childhood TB control strategies. 

In addition, World Vision India will work with private practitioners, in accordance with the RNTCP policy, to build a larger network of healthcare givers. The healthcare givers are empowered and equipped to improve case detection, screening of childhood TB and provide adequate 'Directly Observed Treatment Short course' (DOTS) treatment. This association will also strengthen the existing government health system related to Childhood TB.

The other steps taken by World Vision India to raise awareness on childhood TB included a vehicle decorated with pictorial messages that will be accompanied by a local folklore team who will be going around the slums of Hyderabad for the next 10 days. A hydraulic balloon along with TB slogans was also hosted at a public space. 

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