INTERMEDIARY AGENCY TO BRIDGE GOVT & PRIVATE SECTOR
Over half of the estimated 4.6 million annual TB infections in India are treated by a scattered range of private providers. They can be ignored only at a national peril. The Joint Effort for Elimination of TB (JEET) was launched on June 1, 2018, under which WHP is working in 7 cities partnering with Clinton Health Access Initiative-CHAI (Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat and Darbhanga in Bihar) and Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics- FIND (Ludhiana & Jalandhar in Punjab, and Kolkata and Howrah in West Bengal).
The projects network doctors, laboratories, pharmacies, and informal providers into a cohesive system with a strong electronic backbone connecting them to enable better coordination of activities. The clients receive tests and medicines free. In order to seamlessly transition the project to the public sector and sustain it in the long-term, WHP has started replacing private sector drugs with government-procured supplies at pharmacies. Efforts are currently underway to also transition payment of various incentives to the government.
Global Fund through CHAI and FIND with a grant of $3 million for three years.
LESSONS AND RESULTS:
The unique feature of this project is its implementation with the active participation of the government’s TB department so all decisions are aligned with larger policy norms to make transition to full government ownership easier. It acts as a bridge between the government’s flagship Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) and the dominant players in the private sector, both formal and informal, to improve TB diagnosis and treatment that ultimately improves case notification and treatment success. WHP is integrating its core functions with RNTCP over the next years. This entails a phased transition to the public sector of the diagnostic operations, private sector notifications, placement of free TB drugs in private pharmacies, abuse-proof methods to issue drugs, incentives to private providers and knowledge transfer. TThe model has produced spectacular results with 86,337 notifications since its inception December 9th 2019.