India Research Partnership Commemorates World TB Day

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India accounts for more than one-fourth of the global burden of tuberculosis disease, and over the last 2 decades, the Johns Hopkins-Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College clinical research partnership in Pune has been actively working to address TB through research that improves patient outcomes. Recently the partnership commemorated World TB Day 2023 by developing and convening community engagement activities to foster outreach, collaboration, and TB awareness among the local community.   

Held in collaboration with National Tuberculosis Control Programme for Maharashtra State staff, the event was led by Dr. Nishi Suryavanshi, Clinical Research Site Coordinator and Deputy Director for the Indo-JHU research partnership in Pune. Activities including a special street play, counseling sessions, and research and education discussions, aimed to  engage the community in healthy approaches to TB treatment and prevention under this year’s World TB Day theme "Yes we can end TB."

The team providing nutrition couselingThe street play was planned by the site’s outreach team and was written by Community Outreach Coordinator Ms. Savita Kanade. It was performed at four different TB hospitals with the aim of raising awareness about WHO guidelines among healthcare providers and patients. The play highlighted the importance of TB clinical trials and advocated for implementation of newer, shorter TB treatments. Counselors also emphasized the importance of healthy and nutritious food for patients receiving TB treatment.

"The ‘we’ in ‘yes we can end TB’ includes everyone in India, from the ground level in villages, to gram panchayat village councils, to the highest levels of central government,” Kanade said. “Everyone needs to come together in this fight against TB."

The event  was well attended by patients who have completed TB treatment, families of TB patients, Médecins Sans Frontières representatives, and representatives of various NGOs working to eliminate the burden of tuberculosis.

“World TB Day remains an important opportunity for community outreach and education,” Dr. Suryavanshi said. “Through events like this, we’re able to share current research and guidelines in TB treatment and prevention among people with TB, their families, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders who work in fight against TB.”