October 1, 2021
Azim Premji University has been organizing the ‘Stories of Change’ – Case Study Challenge, documenting good practices of social change from NGOs, government programs, and social enterprises. KHPT’s submission on the TB Careline, written by Vrinda Manocha and Dr. Prarthana B S, was selected as a Special Mention in 2020 and has been included in a compendium of case stories published by the University in August 2021.
The TB Careline is a free-of-cost phone-based ‘TB Careline’, which provides not only information about TB to patients opting for the service, but also counsels them, links them back to treatment if they discontinue it, and provides feedback to providers about their patients’ status. It is staffed by a team of trained counselors and has been operated by KHPT since 2014, reaching out to an average of 500 new patients in Karnataka every quarter. The Careline has reached out to 15,989 patients between April 2014 and September 2020, with 7,647 patients completing treatment.
The service has proved to be flexible and adaptable to the requirements of the health system. The Careline has transitioned from reaching out to patients in the private sector to providing counseling and information about accessing new welfare schemes to all patients registered with the national registry. During the Covid-19 lockdown, counselors continued to provide outbound call services from their homes in the absence of public transportation and included updated and accurate information about Covid-19 and its risks to all registered TB patients. The TB Careline has the potential to be scaled up in a cost-effective manner while continuing to provide pertinent information and counseling services to TB patients and caregivers and also adapting to the emerging needs of communities as well as the health department.