Country of Operation
SummarySaúde 10 is a start up chain of primary health clinics in Rio de Janeiro. Entrepreneurs Ingrid Lins e Silva and Breno Farias de Araújo offer low cost, high quality medical services and comfortable clinics to the community.
To improve access to effective TB treatment, the Novartis Foundation for Sustainable Development (NFSD) and its partners developed a Patient-Centered Treatment (PCT) approach in Tanzania. This innovative approach facilitates treatment for patients and helps relieve overburdened health workers. The ultimate goal was to create demand for TB treatment and make people with TB symptoms come forward for early diagnosis and treatment.
Key program components
In order to improve access to treatment for patients and relieve healthcare providers, NFSD in collaboration with the National TB and Leprosy Programme of the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare developed the PCT approach which gives patients the choice to either take the daily treatment at a health facility, supervised by a medical professional as under traditional DOTS, or at home, supported by a family or community member. PCT therefore takes the Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) strategy one step further as it gives patients the possibility to choose their treatment supporter.
In the case of home-based treatment, the patient and treatment supporter are required to visit the health facility once a week during the 2-month intensive phase to collect a new blister pack. During the continuation phase which lasts 4 months, they are required to visit the health facility once every two weeks. Patients can therefore skip the daily walks to health facilities and avoid transport costs, and health workers can allocate the gain in time to other patients.
As healthcare staff and treatment supporters must make sure patients adhere to their daily medicine intake, instructions given by the health workers to patient and treatment supporters were in need of strengthening. Novartis Foundation produced a training video explaining PCT step by step to healthcare workers, patients, and treatment supporters to all Regional and District TB and Leprosy Coordinators in Tanzania, to ensure that health workers, treatment supporters and TB patients better understand the diseases and treatment options under PCT.
Sensitization and social-marketing campaigns were also conducted to inform people about the causes and symptoms of TB as well as the new treatment options under PCT. The ultimate goal is to create demand for TB treatment and make people with TB symptoms come forward for early diagnosis and treatment.