PATHWAY FOR GOVT TO LEVERAGE PRIVATE RESOURCES FOR TB TREATMENT
WHP’s Tuberculosis Health Action Learning Initiative (THALI) is a trend setting project in eastern India which creates a pathway for the government to engage gainfully with the private sector. The THALI model expands the scope of WHP’s project in Patna by adding components of advocacy and community action, so a well-rounded model is developed on behalf of the government.
The project started in the city of Kolkata in 2016 to cover all 263 wards. In early 2017, further expansion brought six districts of West Bengal under its coverage and efforts are currently underway to expand to neighbouring states. The project in its second year has performed exceedingly well with extensive coverage of the private sector and a solid community engagement model that aims to sensitise the population on TB awareness, and subsequently focuses on reducing diagnostic and treatment delays.
The project is implemented by a consortium of expert organisations in which WHP plays the role of the prime supported by JSI focused on research, evaluation and knowledge dissemination, Global Health Strategies on strategic advocacy and media relations, and Child in Need Institute (CINI) on community outreach and mobilisation. THALI, building on past learnings, focuses on strengthening institutional capacity, frugal innovations, greater stakeholder ownership, maintaining financial bottom lines of the private sector, enhanced public and private sector funding, and improving quality of TB services.
The project is supported by the United States Agency for International Development with a grant of $7.4 million to the consortium for four years.
Lessons and results:
THALI is in the early stages of implementation in West Bengal with the focus on synergising resources in the public, private and corporate sectors. This is an ambitious strategy which in the past commonly suffered from many pitfalls mostly related to difficult coordination. By creating a unified command structure which WHP’s programming model advocates, the project has been able to combine a variety of competencies through specialist organisations. The early results are extremely encouraging with THALI notifying 11,481 cases from private sector which is 90% of total cases notified by private sector (as on September 19, 2018).