Unique initiative with private practitioners against MDR-TB in India


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EQUIP project REACH Chennai India, DOT supervisor Joseph - Photo Netty Kamp

EQUIP project, Chennai, India. DOT Supervisor Joseph Soundararaj. Photo by Netty Kamp

Private practitioners central to unique partnership against drug-resistant TB in Chennai, India.

The fight for a TB-free India continues to gain ground with the launch of an innovative project in the city of Chennai. Patients of private health practitioners are being offered rapid, accurate diagnosis for TB and drug-resistant TB through the project EQUIP. A public-private partnership is being created to ensure that private sector health providers and their patients will have free access to TB testing with the latest technology.

EQUIP seeks to demonstrate that the private sector in India can be a big part of the solution for a TB-Free India. The Lilly MDR-TB Partnership, KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, and local non-governmental organization REACH (Resource Group for Education and Advocacy for Community Health) are joining forces with India’s TB control program (RNTCP) in this unique collaboration.

Through EQUIP we are creating a public-private partnership to ensure that private sector health providers and their patients have free access to the new GeneXpert laboratory test for early diagnosis of TB and the detection of TB drug-resistance. This means that we can save more lives and prevent others from becoming infected. This is the first time that a collaboration with the private sector has focused specifically on the growing problem of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) in India.

See also the guest blog by Agnes Gebhard about KNCV’s partnership with Lilly in the MDR-TB Partnership.

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Photo © Netty Kamp: Laboratory staff of the PPM center at the Hindu Welfare Hospital in Central Chennai.

Laboratory staff at PPM center, Hindu Welfare Hospital in Central Chennai, participating in EQUIP project REACH. Photo by Netty Kamp.